GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -We’re hearing from a family in the east, who lost a significant amount of what they own in an apartment fire last week.
To say things have been hard for Kara Fields and Jeremi Brown recently would be an understatement.
“We were coming into 2024, hoping with the birth of our baby girl that this was going to be an up year for us,” Fields said. “Now, we’re starting off the year losing our home.”
Last Wednesday, the couple packed their overnight hospital bags as Fields prepared to deliver their second daughter, which presented challenges.
“Her placenta was failing so they induced me,” Fields said. “By Thursday, I’d already been in labor for 24 hours and then I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.”
Despite the complications, Fields was able to give birth to baby Elara Thursday afternoon.
While the couple celebrated their baby girl’s birth at Maynard Children’s Hospital at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville, their apartment building was on fire only a few miles away.
“You expect to bring your baby girl into this world then an hour later, you hear your house burned down,” Brown said.
The couple says they got a call from Fields’ uncle who was inside their unit with their 1-year-old daughter Selylah at Westpointe Apartments as their building started to burn.
“He called my husband and was like not to add to all the excitement, but we’ve just fled your building because it’s on fire,” Fields said.
Later that night, the apartment manager called them with bad news about the condition of their apartment. Shortly after, Fields would have more complications from the pregnancy early Friday morning.
“At that 3:00 in the morning, I started hemorrhaging,” Fields said. “She said I don’t think anything is really salvageable at this point and they had to sedate me because I was having a full-blown panic attack at that point, it was so overwhelming.”
Fortunately, the couple was able to leave the hospital Saturday, but they couldn’t go home because their apartment was destroyed.
They were able to salvage a few sentimental things but were ultimately left without a place to stay.
The couple and their two girls are now staying with family in Morehead City, while they try to get back on their feet.
“Each day will get better as we go with all the help that we have,” Brown said. “It’s very amazing to know they’re here to help.”
Despite the unforeseen tragedy, they’re focusing on the positives.
“It’s saddening to say the least, but you can’t have the good without the bad and our good was our daughter,” Brown said.
“It’s quite a birth story for this little one,” Fields said. “It’ll be interesting to tell her when she’s old enough to understand.”
The fire was ruled accidental due to unattended cooking.