MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) — The tragedy in the Happy Hills community is also impacting victims Tony and Leila Lewis’ neighbors. That horrific fire Wednesday night — spread to the house next door, which is also a total loss.
Pearlie Howard, known to most as “Miss Pearl,” and her son Jesse — were inside their home when they recall hearing multiple gunshots — moments before her neighbor’s home exploded into flames.
“We had to get on the floor. We heard gunshots… We had to hit the floor. We waited in the house for like 10 minutes before coming out,” recalled Miss Pearl.
When they finally felt safe enough to come out — they realized both homes were on fire. Neighbors kept her from going back towards the intense fire.
“Miss Pearl — get up out of there… Come out… Come out of your house… Come out, come out.,” said Mario Yow.
At that point — no one realzed Tony and Leila Lewis were still inside their burning home.
Miss Pearl has lived in the Happy Hills community her entire life — more than 60 years in her home on Dr. Thomas Avenue. She says she considered the Lewis family more than just neighbors.
“They were good people… I never had a problem with them. They would do anything for you. I loved them. I have a God daughter with them,” said Miss Pearl.
She’s now trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what her next steps.
“It’s unbelievable on something somebody else did… You know. It’s just not right,” said Miss Pearl.
In the last day — a GoFundMe page has been organized to help Miss Pearl. It has well-exceeded its $5,000 goal. At last check — it has nearly 500 donations totalling more than $16,000. Click here if you would like to donate.
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