A pregnant woman about a week away from her first child’s due date escaped her burning apartment with her dog Tuesday morning, she said.
Katelyn Hannagan, 19, was asleep in her bedroom at Eagle Crest Apartments, 4120 Bellmead Drive, when she woke up to a bright light. She was able to get herself and her dog, Penny, out of the apartment and call her fiance, Jorge Ramirez, 28, who was at work. They are preparing for the arrival of their first child, a daughter due at the end of the month.
“We just had our baby shower two days ago,” Hannagan said. “I knocked on my neighbors’ door to let them know, then I thought I should try to go back in and get some more stuff out, but by then it was all on fire.”
Firefighters responded to the complex shortly after 8 a.m. Ramirez said he left work immediately after he got the frantic phone call and saw smoke coming from the direction of his apartment.
“I just kept saying, ‘Please don’t let that be my home,’ ” he said. “When I got back to the apartment, I saw her (Hannagan) sitting on the gurney, so I was so glad she was out.”
The Waco and Lacy Lakeview fire departments helped contain the fire, Bellmead Fire Chief Billy Hlavenka said.
Bellmead Police Chief Daniel Porter said Officer Nubon Sellers went to neighboring apartments and woke residents who were unaware of the fire. At the time of the fire, 11 people were in the 16-unit building, but no injuries were reported, Hlavenka said.
Hannagan said she is unsure what caused the fire but she thinks she had a candle burning on a nightstand. She said she tried to put the fire out after it woke her up, but it spread quickly and forced her to leave the apartment.
She said all of her baby gifts, clothing and other items were lost in the fire. Bellmead police worked to coordinate assistance from the American Red Cross.
Hlavenka said the soon-to-be family of three were the only residents displaced by the fire. The fire gutted the couple’s apartment and did significant fire damage to a vacant apartment next door, but all other occupants were able to return home late Tuesday morning.
The La Vega school district reached out to the family to assist with meals.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday afternoon, Hlavenka said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the correct spelling of Hannagan.