Fire forces family out of apartment , staying at motel Christmas Eve - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fire forces family out of apartment , staying at motel Christmas Eve

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Madison (WKOW) --Shirley Jones and her 18-month-old grandson Nicholas Mingo are staying at a local motel Christmas Eve.

But it wasn't a planned get away.

Tuesday night, one of her greatest nightmares came true.

At around 8pm, a fire started at her upstairs neighbor's apartment in the Alhambra Apartments in Madison.

"As soon as she came down stairs, I called 911. That's when I started to smell smoke and I was like screaming, help! 911! Help! There's a fire!"

That's when Jones' apartment started to fill with smoke.

"First thing I thought of was the baby. I grabbed him and I went outside with no coat. I had no coat on," Jones says.

A Red Cross volunteer paid the two a visit Christmas Eve morning.

The non-profit put Jones and her grandson up at a motel for a few days.

Diapers and a gallon of milk are among the few item's Jones was able to take with her.

Little Nicholas's toys still remain in the smoke damaged apartment.

Still, like the sign outside of this motel, Jones is keeping on the sunny side of life, saying a lesson was learned out of last night's tragedy.

"I can see my family, I have 21 grand kids and I am going to see them for Christmas. So that's the most important thing."

Officials says three units were affected in the four unit building and 12 tenants are not able to return to their apartments tonight.

The Red Cross is helping the three families affected by last night's fire.

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