James and Didi Fritts thanked the Seattle Fire Department and everyone who helped them after their house slipped off the foundation last week.
SEATTLE – James and Didi Fritts survived after their two-story home in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood collapsed partially above them in a landslide and slipped from its foundation on Friday afternoon
However, her two dogs Lily and Sammy did not survive.
James and Didi shared their survival story near where they lost their home on Tuesday and explained how close they were to being crushed after the second floor of their home collapsed with them inside.
“It was a loud roar and the whole thing fell on us,” explained Didi.
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The Seattle Fire Department confirmed that afternoon that a slide had formed on the hill behind the house at Perkins Lane W 2400 and fell on the house.
“My mouth and throat were covered, full of dust. I didn’t know where I was and I thought he was dead and I screamed for him, screamed, and then I heard him say he was alive. He was alive, ”Didi recalled.
She said she was on her way to the front door when the slide struck and the second floor collapsed. She was trapped under debris as her refrigerator fell on James’ legs, making it impossible for him to move.
When she remembered her kitchen falling on her and they were struggling to get out from under the rubble, Didi said, “I got really angry. I got really angry and [thought] ‘I will not die here.’ Do you know how to hear about people getting this superhuman strength? Well, I got it. “
She said she was able to lift herself out of the house and crawl while talking to James as she made her way to safety.
Meanwhile, James said he would have to wait for the fire department to rescue him, her dog Lily being crushed to death just inches away from him.
A propane tank at the back of the property caught fire, which threatened to spread to the house.
“I was just waiting for them to explode and kill me,” said James.
The fire brigade was able to put out the flames with water and eventually put out the fire after it was re-lit several times.
James said he waited 45 minutes, yelled at neighbors for help, and yelled himself, “Help me. Help me.”
The firefighters were able to pull James out of the rubble and pull him out from under the refrigerator with the jaws of life. He raised his thumb to tell everyone he was fine when they loaded him into an ambulance.
“I just want to say thank you to the Seattle Fire Department and the emergency services and my neighbors and all the great people,” said James. “We are miracles and every day is a gift. So, keep paying and be of service. “
The couple said they didn’t have landslide insurance for their house because they couldn’t afford it and said it was more than their mortgage. You set up a GoFundMe for anyone who wants to help with the spending.
The house is no longer habitable after it has been given a red sign by the City Building and Inspection Office. The Fritts’ house was the only one structurally damaged in the landslide, but an inspector recommended that local residents monitor the slope and consult a private geotechnician.