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Trapped by the Blaze

Trapped by the Blaze
Elektra Wynn-Evans

It was the night the fire happened in our block. It was an accident, but it was a fatal mistake. It started with an over-heated oven, but it caught alight and spread, destroying the whole building in an inferno of flames.

There was nothing we could do to stop it.

On the night it happened I was in bed, peaceful, ignorant of what was to come.

Suddenly, the fire alarm rang out through the block, piercingly sharp against the night, waking all its inhabitants with a start. I shot out of bed and raced out onto the corridor. And then saw a sight that froze my blood and formed icicles in my veins. Thick black smoke was billowing down the corridor, clogging my lungs and making me cough and splutter. Through the clouds of smoke, I could see flashes of red light and flames licking the walls and ceiling.

Shouts and screams echoed down the long corridor and then, I realized something awful: my best friend lived down that corridor and was trapped by the blaze. I felt I had to save my friend, but a wall of flames parted us. I shielded my face from the flames with my arm and ran through the searing heat.

The stretch of the blaze was vast but finally I found my friend’s apartment and stumbled through the door and into her room. That was where I found her, on the floor, her face streaked with ashes and soot. Her eyes were shut very tightly, and, on first glance, she was not breathing.

I rushed to her and knelt beside her lifeless body and rested her head in my hand as I cradled her in my lap. She wasn’t moving but suddenly she gasped a frantic breath and her eyes fluttered open. She was barely conscious, but I was overjoyed to find that I was not too late.

As I was helping her up, I looked around for an exit but, to my horror, there was none: we were surrounded by a wall of flames. All around us the blaze was licking the ceiling. Every second it closed further in on us, getting closer and closer as the smoke billowed around us, hiding my fragile friend from sight.

I tried to call, to scream for help, to anyone left in the flaming building, but nothing came out, and instead smoke poured into my lungs, shortening my life considerably.

And then I knew it was the end. I cleared the air with my arm to catch a last glimpse of my friend. She drew in her last breath into her sooty lungs before finally becoming lifeless in my lap. She was gone. As tears filled my eyes at the thought of my friend and my family, the flames finally closed in and swallowed both of us down, down, down.