NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Betsy Williams and Kim Madlom woke up on December 25th to all but Christmas cheer.
“It was very very loud,” said Williams.
They were awakened by an announcement over a PA system saying “Evacuate! This vehicle will explode.” Initially, Williams and Madlom wondered if it warning was real.
“When the countdown started we went, ‘Oh no, this is a thing for sure.’” said Williams.
Betsy’s son and sister were visiting for the holiday. Together, they grabbed what they could and rushed to their car. They waited out the 15-minute countdown and heard nothing.
“When we felt like the full 15 minutes was way past, I drove back across the bridge and went back over there thinking this is a hoax,” said Williams. “We were looking up 2nd Avenue North near Broadway when the thing went off. When it exploded and it was enormous. I’ve never seen anything like it and I don’t ever want to see anything like it again.
Since then, Williams and Madlom have been staying in a downtown hotel. A GoFundMe account has raised nearly $15,000 on their behalf. Instead of keeping it all for themselves, they plan to share it.
“We’re sharing with our maintenance and housekeeping people,” Williams explained.
Williams owns vacation units in the same building where they once lived. All of them are now shut down through next year.
“This is two times this year that I have had to cancel reservations or reservations have been canceled from COVID,” said Williams. “And, now I’m canceling all the way through 2021.”
Either way, Williams says she will do what she can to lend a helping hand.