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Survivor of Lawrence fires seeks to rebuild

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"I thank the lord I made it out."

Annie V. Wilson, like dozens of Massachusetts residents, is still trying to come to grips with losing her home during Thursdays natural gas explosions.

"It`s still gives me goosebumps. I lost everything. I have nothing."

She says when she opened her front door, the smoke was overwhelming and fire quickly consumed her apartment in South Lawrence.

Her pet parakeets flew away as she evacuated. The 73-year-old was forced to leave behind her medications, the ashes of her late husband, sister, and mother, and priceless photographs and family heirlooms.

She called her grandson Damasae Wilson Pendelton in Stafford Springs who could not make it through gridlock into the city, so she walked 2 miles to a McDonald's where he was able to pick her up and take her back to his home in Connecticut.

They spent the next hours...and days, at the Red Cross, calling City Hall and the fire department for reports, and attempting to contact Columbia Gas.

Pendelton says, "It`s tough to communicate with them it`s tough to get all of them and I also know that their response just wasn`t there at all we feel really left in the dark by them."

For now, Annie is staying at her grandson's home. He's on an air mattress, and working to get her an apartment in his building.

They've set up a Go fund me to rebuild Annie's life.

Pendleton says, "I think it`s so tough to have to start brand new. At 73 years old,  I can't ever imagine 73 years with the memories and family heirlooms to be replaced. That`s where we are. "

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