PORTLAND, Ore. – Kimberly Hasty said Thursday that she and her one-year-old son were lucky to survive a fire that killed her two other children almost two weeks ago and that she did everything she could to save them.
As her apartment at the Fox Pointe Apartments in Oak Grove burned, she tossed Wani Lemi from a two story window into the arms of a waiting stranger. She then jumped herself, but her two other children, Apollo Lemi, 6, and 4-year-old Ladu Lemi were still inside and died of smoke inhalation.
“We’re lucky we got out,” Hasty told KATU News reporter Anna Canzano during an exclusive TV interview from her hospital bed just before going into surgery on her shattered left heel.
“And I did everything I could. That place burned in three minutes. … I did everything I could, you know. And there was nobody to catch them (Apollo and Ladu).”
Hasty said she believes the baseboard heater in her living room somehow caught her couch on fire. It was a couch with foam cushions she’s since been told were highly flammable. She said the heater was off when she and her three boys went to bed in the same room.
“It just immediately filled up with that hot black smoke,” she said. “I was burning. I wasn’t in the flames. There was no flames in that room just smoke – that hot black smoke. They passed out right away. They didn’t feel the burns, you know. They did get burned but it was after they were already gone.”
Apollo was the one who woke her up and said, “Mommy.” Hasty said it was the last thing she heard him say.
“Then he was just standing there watching, waiting for me to fix it and I couldn’t fix it,” she said. “And Ladu, he just woke up for a second and I just heard him whimper real quick, and he went and laid next to his brother by the door and passed out. I was standing there, somebody come catch my baby.”
That somebody was Jeff Bryant, a stranger in whom Hasty placed her trust as she tossed her toddler from the second floor.
She said she thinks about her boys all the time and “they’re going to be my innocent little boys forever, you know.”
Hasty has been quite vocal about her recovery via Facebook, even lamenting on a bong designer’s photo of his work that she needs a good piece because her bong, along with a vaporizer, burned in the fire.
Hasty said she is a medical marijuana user.
Clackamas County fire hasn’t said yet how that fire started.
- Grandfather of boys who died in fire arrives in Portland
- Conditions upgraded for mother and child fire victims
- Mother relates story of fatal fire to KATU reporter
- Medical examiner: Children of apartment fire died of smoke inhalation
- Neighbor catches baby dropped from burning apartment