Survivor of fatal Biloxi fire attempts to move forward

Survivor of fatal Biloxi fire attempts to move forward
Gonter says she is feeling survivor's guilt following the death of her friend. (Photo source: WLOX News)

(WLOX) - A woman who escaped an east Biloxi house fire is rebuilding her life after losing everything.

Linda Gontner is trying to get used to her new surroundings as she remembers the man whose home she lived in, 79-year-old Ollie "Bubby" Lamey, Jr.

"I was scared to death, I said 'Go back there and get Bubby. Go pound on that door and go get him,' but my little dog ran down hall way, jumped on side, he was in there trying to get door open," Gontner said.

Gontner says firefighters couldn't rescue Lamey in time.

"It took quite a while to get the fire out. And I believe that if the smoke hadn't been so bad, I couldn't go get him because I have asthma, little dog, someone else could have gotten him out of there," Gonter noted.

Firefighters at the scene say it appeared Lamey died in his sleep with his dog by his side. Now, Gontner and her dog are living in Vancleave with her sister, Katie St. Amant.

"She lost everything in the fire. We're trying to find a three or four bedroom in D'Iberville because my sister needs to be close to doctor," said St. Amant.

Gontner says she has no insurance, and is in need of things like household items, clothes, and dog food.

Those who would like to help can visit any Hancock Bank, where Linda Gontner has an account set up in her name.

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