Editor's Note: Denver7 Gives is helping raise money for Ayonceé Hicks and her baby to recover and get back on their feet. Click here and find “Support Ayonceé & Son After Fire” to donate.
LAKEWOOD — It was early Halloween morning when chaos broke out at the Tiffany Square Apartments.
"I kept seeing like this orange flare coming from my son's room," said Ayonceé Hicks. "Once I seen the flames spread into my son's room, I was just panicking."
Hicks had been living at the apartment complex since May with her 1-year-old son, Demarion.
She said she's thankful her friend, Tevon Thomas, was visiting them that night.
"I went to my living room and started screaming for him to get up because there was a fire. And then he got up and then the flames was like coming through the living room. And then he tried to open the door. Then the flames just started like coming in, and we ran to the room. And that's when we started trying to get out the window," said Hicks.
She said Thomas took the lead and helped her and her baby escape through the back window, jumping from the second story of the building.
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"I was hanging with my left hand. And she handed him to me in the right, and I kind of like cradled him. And I was looking down, just kind of like gauging the distance," said Thomas. "We hit the ground. I kind of rolled with the fall."
Thomas said there were thick clouds of black smoke coming out of the window. He was the first to jump with the baby.
"I couldn't even really see her. And when I did see her, I seen her breathe out like a cloud of smoke out her mouth. I'm just thinking like, I hope she doesn't pass out because I can't get back up there to do nothing. And then that's when she fell out. She ended up jumping out. And then there was a fence back there and all the way out. I had to break the fence out," added Thomas.
They suffered cuts, scrapes, bruising and smoke inhalation.
Now, Ayonceé, who is a single mother, and her baby Demarion are left with nothing, forced to start all over.
"From clothes, to shoes, to toys, to diapers. I literally worked so hard for that, this was my first apartment, you know. I was crushed," said Ayonceé.
But they escaped with what matters most — their lives — and are thankful for their friend Tevon who helped them get out safely.
"I'm very thankful. I wish I could give him everything but I literally have nothing," she said.
"I feel like I was there for a reason. You know, I'm a firm believer, so I feel like it worked out for how it was supposed to," said Tevon.
Two teenagers, ages 12 and 14, face 100 criminal counts each in connection with the first, including first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
Denver7 Gives is helping raise money for her and her baby to recover and get back on their feet. Click here and find “Support Ayonceé & Son After Fire” to donate.
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