Elderly North Texas woman loses everything in apartment fire

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A 91-year-old North Texas woman got out of a fire with her life and two rosaries she had in her pocket.

Now, Irene Andrews has no place to stay and is praying for a helping hand.

On May 30, a fire broke out in the apartment home underneath Andrews’ home.

She and her dog, Serena, were trapped.

“I said, ‘Well, we'll go to the front door to get some air,’ ‘cause we were choking, and as I opened the door, I heard this lady say, ‘Oh my God,’” said Andrews.

The fire was rushing up to her apartment from downstairs. 

“So I said, ‘Well, we'll go out on the balcony,’ and I opened the back door and I was trying to hold Serena, but she got away ‘cause she was scared,” said Andrews. “So she went back. That’s where she died from the smoke.”

Andrews was rescued from the balcony by Richardson firefighters. 

“All I remember him saying is, he said, ‘Put your arms around me, darling; I’m gonna save you,’” said Andrews. 

She lost everything she owned and now has no place to call home. 

Eileen McMenemy and Mary Jane Heiting have been friends to Andrews, giving her resources to care for her. 

“Whenever she needs something special, she'll ask and we can accommodate her,” said Heiting.

What Andrews yearns is to live on her own and be independent again.

“To put down for a rent, you have to have two months and so much money in the bank,” said McMenemy. “Well, she can’t have that. She doesn’t have that.”

“Your problem right now is you don’t have a place to stay,” said FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb to Andrews. 

“I’d like to go to myself and have my plants and to get a doggie,” said Andrews.

“You're well capable of living on your own,” said Rabb.

“Yes, I am,” said Andrews.

“You just need a little help right now, don’t you?” said Rabb.

“I need help to find a place that’s safe,” said Andrews.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul through St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano is trying to help Andrews, but the agency also very limited in its resources.

For information on how to help Andrews, email Tim Meyer, President of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, at tm1811@aol.com