A young family of three lost their home Tuesday night. Thankfully, no one was injured during the blaze, but this family says one life was lost: their beloved cat, Max. Deanna McQuillen, a fire victim, says, "You see it on the news. You tell your friends sorry it happened to you, and then you don't realize until it happens to you." The roaring blaze that engulfed an Arbor View apartment building Tuesday night, took the home of Mike and Deanna McQuillen. The couple and their one year old son, Aiden, were not home when the fire started, but rushed back quickly to try and save another member of their family, their five year old cat, Max.
Mike says, "She got out of the car and hit the ground. I couldn’t get up the stairs. The stairs were already collapsed by that time. The whole apartment building was engulfed in flames." Deanna also says, "Pets are like family, no matter how many times you get mad at them, they’re still family." The McQuillens consider themselves planners, always prepared for the worst, but last night's fire took even them by surprise. Mike also says, “Everything we had stored up in preparation, we weren't accounting for it happening here. We accounted for something to happen outside for us to have some place safe to come in." Now the McQuillens hope a fire proof safe they have containing important, personal belongings might have survived the blaze. Mike also says, "Now the test comes whenever it’s recovered, if it was really fire proof or not." While many important parts of the McQuillen family's lives have gone up in flames, in the end, they say they still have each other.
Mike closes, "Sometimes I just don’t feel like a man who has lost everything. I pretty much got everything here." Deanna says, "We still got family." Thankfully, the McQuillens won’t be homeless for long. Arbor View Apartments has made arrangements for them to move into another one of its complexes in Biloxi.