LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) - A Ladysmith family is recovering after a fire destroyed their home.
“I was sleeping. I laid down before work, the wife was laying down before me. And all of the sudden I heard a boom and got up and seen the black smoke coming towards me,” fire victim Bud Young said.
He and his wife Cathy awoke to their home on 211 West Sabin Ave on fire Friday. He said neighbors Katie and Ken Brown came to their rescue, helping them escape through back windows.
“The smoke come in there so fast, it makes it hard to breathe, don't know where you're at, you're disorientated, it's just nice to have neighbors like that that come over and risk their own lives,” Bud Young said.
Firefighters battled the flames for about two and a half hours, and found the cause to be a tabletop magnifying glass in which sun rays started cardboard boxes on fire, later hitting oxygen tanks that exploded.
“I burned my throat and my lungs through smoke. My wife was in CCU, she has COPD and she had more smoke inhalation. She got burned on her back. Just moved her to the sixth floor … at Sacred Heart in Eau Claire.
Bud said the home and everything in it were lost.
“Everything you worked for your whole life is gone,” he said.
He said he does have insurance and will likely stay with family for now.
“If I need something, all I gotta do is call them. I worked for everything my whole life, it's hard take from people and I try to help people.”
“It's a blessing everybody got out alive. Nobody was hurt real bad. I can talk squealy however I want for the rest of my life. At least I’m alive. At least the wife is alive.”
“It makes you wanna do a lot more with everybody. Life is short. You don't know how short it is. If that oxygen tank wouldn't have blown up, I’d have never known it.”
Donations to help the Youngs are being accepted at: Pioneer Bank, 200 Miner Avenue West P.O.Box 169 Ladysmith, WI 54848, (715) 532 5551.