Chipley- Family, friends and investigators were still trying to make sense of a fire that claimed a Washington County man's life last Friday. Investigators told us they were not ready the release the cause of the house fire, but said it was not suspicious.
Kimberly Greenwell and her husband Michael had moved-in with their friend, Kenny Crews, a week ago after losing their apartment in Chipley. Tuesday was the first time Kimberly saw to the charred home her husband died inside of.
Michael was in the back bedroom sleeping while Kimberly and Crews were here watching TV. Around 10 P.M. the two smelled smoke and rushed to wake up Michael. Initially, she thought he was behind her but when she made it out, she realized her husband of over 10 years was still inside. "She actually had to crawl to get out" Kimberly's Daughter, Devon Miller told us.
"It was thick and it was black" homeowner, Kenny Crews recalled. "We could see him, but the house was totally engulfed. We tried our best- we did. She and I both went back in there twice, and she wanted to go back that third time. I said, 'no honey, no I can't let you do that'" Crews told us.
Paramedics took Kimberly to the hospital where she was observed through the weekend. Miller recounted the phone call she received Sunday afternoon from the hospital. "To be honest, I thought they were going to tell me that my mom was burned, or that she was suffering from life threatening injuries. Or, that she had possibly deceased in the fire. And after feeling a sense of loss for Michael, of course, I was just glad that my mom was OK" Miller said.
Crews wasn't physically injured in the blaze, but said he was suffering from a lot of of emotional trauma. "I'm still devastated by it. I'm trying to deal with it. People don't understand unless they experience it and I pray to God I never experience it again.
Crews told us the greatest pain of all was knowing Kimberly lost her husband. "When you spend that much time with someone it's hard to lose them, and they were close" Crews said.
Miller said Kimberly would stay with her in Orlando and the Red Cross provided temporary lodging for Crews.