Fire victim who lost everything asking for help

By: Cole Miller

A victim hit the hardest in last weekend's apartment fire is asking for your help. Nearly everything in Andrew Haverman's apartment is a total loss. Now he's reaching out to the community.

The UNL student remembers getting a phone call last Saturday. “We got a phone call form a friend saying there were fire trucks at our house so we kind of thought it was a joke at first because we weren't home, so why would a fire start?” says Haverman.

Then more phone calls. And when Haverman made it to the scene, he saw fire pouring from the roof by his apartment near 40th and Normal Boulevard.

Haverman says, “The first thing I saw was the apartment just gone…heartbreaking almost.” It's now unlivable – notices are posted on the door.

Officials believe a cigarette butt fell from the third floor balcony to the second floor balcony where Haverman's apartment was. It then caught a lawn chair on fire. From there, it spread to the bedroom. Haverman says the hardest part was seeing his belongings destroyed.

Haverman says, “I had actually watched them throw my stuff out the window into the pile which was kind of heartbreaking, but new stuff can be bought I guess.”

That's where he's asking for your help. He's looking for any donations, from a bed to furniture, and the basics in between. So far, he says the community has been great.

Haverman says, “And just the moral support. Everybody's been there, saying they have our backs and that it's just a terrible thing and that they'll always bee there for us.”

And for any smokers out there, Haverman asks that you make sure you put that cigarette out completely before tossing it.

A fund has been setup for Haverman at Union Bank. It's called the “Andrew Haverman Fund.”