KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- At one point it seemed as if Maria Gonzales and Miranda Davidson had lost everything. That changed when two Kansas City Police officers found their dog alive and unhurt eight hours after the women escaped from the raging fire by jumping from a third-floor balcony.
“I was just happy that she was not hurt when I threw her,” said Davidson.
Davidson was released from the hospital Tuesday with multiple fractures to her ankle, a dislocated foot, and 1-year-old boxer mix Mocha back by her side, craning her neck to smother her with kisses.
“I wish I could have saved all the other ones too,” she said.
The Kansas City Fire Department got the alarm at about 8 p.m. Monday sending them to the Waldo Heights Apartments in the area of 81st and Troost.
“I heard people running and I opened up the door, and the hallway was filled with smoke,” said Davidson, describing the moment she realized her apartment building was on fire.
“The smoke started coming into the apartment and it was pitch black dark,” continued Gonzales, who lives with Davidson.
Davidson started wrangling their pets: dog Mocha, cats Oscar, Bella, Po and Po’s litter of kittens. They were squirming. Oscar and Bella jumped out of her arms and hid. She took Mocha, Po and the kittens to the balcony, out of the smoke.
“I was going to go back in for Bella and Oscar, but I couldn’t because I couldn’t see or breathe,” recounted Davidson.
It soon became clear she and Gonzales would also have to jump.
Onlookers told her to throw Mocha and they would catch her. They cushioned her fall. Davidson knew Po would land safely on her own. But she was sure that dropping the kittens that far would send them to their death.
The roommates got out wounded, but both pets they saved ran off.
Gonzales was still at Research Medical Center with a back-injury Tuesday afternoon when she described via FaceTime why she couldn’t sleep all night.
“I was just freaking out because I didn’t want to lose all of them. I needed Mocha by my side,” she said, her voice shaking from the memory.
At 4 a.m., she got just that. Two KCPD officers showed up at the hospital. They first stopped at Davidson’s room just moments after the nurse had checked her I.V. and left.”
“Five minutes later, she came and slammed the door open and was like, ‘I’ve got great news,’” Davidson described. “And that’s when the officer walked in with Mocha.”
Next, they brought the pup to see Gonzales.
“I couldn’t really move but they let me pet her,” explained Gonzales. “I was just glad she was okay”
“They said they made it their mission to make sure that she had some sort of comfort or joy last night,” recalled Jaclyn Ojeda, Gonzales’ mother.
The two officers, a man and woman, showed up at her doorstep at 5:30 a.m. to bring Mocha to her new home.
She’s still hoping Po will show up, but she is eternally grateful for the strangers who stood outside the burning building to help, to the officers who didn’t give up, and for something she keeps telling her daughter when she cries about the pets who likely died in the fire.
“I told her, ‘I can’t replace you.’ And that’s what I keep thinking today. ‘You’re here and that’s all that matters. And she’s here. Miranda’s here. And that’s all that matters.’”
The Red Cross is currently helping 30 families who’ve been displaced by the fire.