On Thursday KTVA interviewed Jenae Collins, who's accused of setting fire to the Calais Arms Apartments. This interview was conducted shortly after the fire:
John MacClarence: It's difficult. I'm not sure. Things are really difficult right now. I got laid off from my job two weeks ago, and I'm actually supposed to be at, you know, the unemployment filing my resume.
Jenae Collins: Not sitting here in a church because our house is burning down
John MacClarence: We do have resources in the community somewhat. I just lost everything. I lost all my guitars, I lost my marlin mount, all my electronics.
Jenae Collins: All our clothes. I lost all my shoes.
John MacClarence: All my paperwork, my wallet. I was lucky I made it out with my passport, but I don't have my driver's license.
Jenae Collins: Truck keys. At least we got out with the truck keys.
Reporter: Where did you live?
Jenae Collins: We were on the first floor, number one. And so he's asleep on the couch, and I'm sitting in the chair, watching TV, and all of a sudden I see like this light come through the crack of the door, and the next thing I know, flames are going through the ceiling.
So I wake him up, scream at the dog, and we go down the hallway, pounding on all the doors. By the time we got out of the building, the whole front side of the building went up in flames.
So I'm just hoping that… I was inhaling smoke and that's kind of why my voice is like this, you know. I inhaled a whole lot of smoke. But, you know, I was hoping that everybody made it out alive. If that happened, then you'll be all right, you know. I hope so.
Reporter: I'm confused, you were on the first floor but you could actually see? Where were the flames? When you looked outside, you could see?
Jenae Collins: I just looked over and I'm like, ‘What is that light?’ It's coming through just the crack of the door. I'm watching TV and I'm right next to the back door
John MacClarence: There's a back door, which is the balcony. We had a balcony with a lot of stuff on it.
Jenae Collins: It's got this tiny little perforation, and I'm like, ‘What is that light? The next thing, I looked up, and the flame went through the ceiling, and I'm like, ‘Oh my god, everybody out!’
John MacClarence: I was totally asleep.
Jenae Collins: He was just sleeping on the couch. Luckily, I was awake, you know, watching TV. Unfortunately, we lost everything we own.
Jenae Collins: We drove around and looked. We got out, drove around and looked.
John MacClarence: When we got out, I got out, you know, there's just smoke's just coming everywhere. And I'm like, ‘Get the dog, let's just get outta here,’ and we got into my truck and as soon as we exited the building, we exited the building on the Eureka side of the street, and as soon as we exited the building, the whole face of the building was in flames.
Jenae Collins: The whole front side, the whole front face was in flames.
John MacClarence: And so I got into the truck and I drove to Holiday (gas station).
Jenae Collins: We got no (inaudible) but the whole front face of the building was in flames, and so we drove around to look and see.
Reporter: Was that before firefighters got there?
Jenae Collins: Well, we got out of the building.
John MacClarence: When we were exiting the building, everyone was converging on the building.
Jenae Collins: So we were, as that occurred, the building had a really good, like alarm system, because the alarm system was going off. That's why everyone's getting out alive and not dying of smoke inhalation or burned to death, because the alarm went off almost immediately but, still, the whole front thing, that went up so fast.
John MacClarence: That building just went, wham.
Jenae Collins: I can't even believe how fast. It just went, whew. I'm like, ‘Oh my god.’
John MacClarence: Like I said, as soon as we got out of the building, we looked out and the whole thing was on fire. The whole front face of the building was just totally engulfed in flames.
Jenae Collins: By the time we got out, that's what it was looking like, whew. Just all the way up the front. It's like 26 apartments.
John MacClarence: I'm thinking, she doesn't have any shoes. She's got my shoes.
Jenae Collins: Yeah, he's a gentleman. He gave me his shoes.
John MacClarence: Now she's got my shoes on, but I got her in my truck with no shoes on, and I'm like, let's get the hell out.
Jenae Collins: Throw our clothes on.
John MacClarence: The whole front face of the building is just totally engulfed. We drove over to holiday.
Jenae Collins: Looking at it.
John MacClarence: By that time, we're seeing the hook and ladder trucks, with the water and all that. The whole building, it almost went up instantly.
Reporter: How long have you lived there?
John MacClarence: I've been on lease there.
Jenae Collins: We've known each other since we were 13, well, since I was 13. He's 47, I'm 41.
John MacClarence: No, she asked how long we lived in the building.
Jenae Collins: Oh, lived in the building.
John MacClarence: I've been there four years.
Reporter (to Collins): Were you just visiting, or living there, too?
Jenae Collins: I was just visiting, yeah.
John MacClarence: You're looking like light fixtures in the hallway, some of them blink on and off.
Jenae Collins: Outlets in his apartments didn't work, I don't know.
John MacClarence: It's not a great place. It only cost 800 bucks a month to live there.
Jenae Collins: You pay 1500, honey. You pay 1500.
John MacClarence: That just happened this month.
Jenae Collins: They just raised the rent, came by, knocked on our door and raised the rent
John MacClarence: It's not a great place.
Reporter: What’s next?
John MacClarence: I do not know. I do not know if I have to give my dog to Friends of Pets. And I do not know. I do not have the resources now to do anything. I had an eight-and-a-half-foot marlin that was worth about four grand that I was going to try to sell on Craigslist to try to deal with this situation I'm going through right now, and now I just don't even have anything. So I don't know what's next.
Jenae Collins: Well, we have each other. anyway.
(MacClarence kisses Collins on cheek)
Jenae Collins: We have Zoggy.
At least we're still sucking air. I can say that much. I inhaled a whole lot of smoke, you know.
Reporter: You need to get checked out or anything?
Jenae Collins: Maybe. I’m not really sure what I'm going to do at this moment. I'm just trying to, like, deal with the present situation.
John MacClarence: I don't know what to do. I don't have renter's insurance, or anything of that nature.
Jenae Collins: I'm hoping I can just get some clothes to wear. (Laughs.) That would be nice.