Southfield mother of 7 pleads for help after fire damages apartment

Kerry Tomlin speaks after devastating fire

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - A Southfield mother of seven children is pleading for help after a fire ripped through her apartment.

Kerry Tomlin said she's thankful her children weren't inside when the fire started, but now the family has nowhere to go.

"I took my kids swimming and I heard there was a fire in my apartment," Tomlin said.

The fire started Saturday morning in the kitchen of the apartment near Telegraph and Eight Mile roads in Southfield, officials said.

"We couldn't even get in, the smoke was so overwhelming," Tomlin said. "I had to call the fire department. Just, wow."

The flames and smoke spread quickly through the tiny apartment, officials said.

"You can see all the damage from the smoke," Tomlin said. "It was going everywhere."

As the fire spread, Tomlin's 2-year-old daughter wandered away, she said. Luckily, someone found the girl and took her to the police station, where the family was reunited.

"I'm, like, 'Oh, my gosh, I can't be going through this. What is wrong?'" Tomlin said.

Tomlin said she was worried about the smoke affecting her 6-year-old son so he is staying with her sister.

Thanks to the Red Cross, the family spent Sunday night at a hotel. But now they don't have anywhere to stay.

"I've got so much faith," Tomlin said. "I believe in God so strongly I feel like everything will be alright."

Tomlin said she's not looking for a handout. She hopes someone will just help them while she looks for a new place to live.

"I'm just glad we're alive," Tomlin said. "What if we were sleeping?"

Click here to donate to the family's GoFundMe page.

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