LEWISTON — From apartment fires to a broken foot to biting dogs, it was too much for Adriana Garcia.

“I just want my life back,” she said. “And I’m trying, but I don’t know how. It’s hard.”

Garcia had returned to her 172 Bates St. apartment April 29 from a doctor’s appointment. She’d broken her foot earlier in the year and it was healing. She decided to take a nap.

She woke to a room choked with smoke. She made her way out of her apartment and outside — taking some next-door neighbors along with her — only to watch her apartment go up in flames.

“When I jumped out of my bed, I re-broke my foot,” she said.

She and her husband, Jamie, found another apartment five blocks away on Pine Street. Charity helped, and she was full of enthusiasm at the time.

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Today, she says she was in denial.

“Later, I was walking to the market to get some milk, and somebody opened the door to let their dog out, and it just charged right at me,” she said.

The dog bit her on the hand.

Since then, Garcia doesn’t leave the house. She’s been to a counselor and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“My life is just confined to my apartment,” she said. “It’s just been one big turmoil, after the fire.”

The hardest part, she said, is that no one came to help her that April afternoon.

“How do you see a 59-year-old lady with a cast and a broken foot getting out of that building?” she said. “Nobody knocked on my door. That haunts me, because I took care of everybody. I was friends with everybody. But nobody came to help me.”

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Revisiting the top stories of 2013

The Sun Journal staff writers and photographers have updated the top stories in our communities.


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