17-year-old speaks after losing everything in Corning fire

Jul 1, 2014 7:17 PM by Brian Johnson

A Corning girl said she was left to fend for herself after a fire destroyed the multi-unit home she was living in yesterday.

Magen Powell had only lived upstairs for about a month when it happened. And when it did happen, she said everyone else made it out before her. Powell said her and her girlfriend were planning on putting the finishing touches on their paint job this week. They won't be able to do that anymore. But at least she's still here, able to tell her story.

You know what they say about best friends: They're always there when you need them and they'll always have your back.

"I see her as my best friend," said 17-year-old Maribelle Vallejo. "I'm starting to see her as like a sister because I've known her for a long time."

Vallejo was most certainly there for her best friend after a fire changed her life Monday afternoon.

"I was just crying and then out of nowhere she came," said Powell. "And she just came up behind me and gave me a hug. [It] just helped."

17-year-old Magen Powell had just escaped from a massive fire that destroyed her new home, and all of her belongings.

Powell was still shaken up Tuesday.
She suffered severe burns on her feet in the fire (and burnt some of her hair), after escaping the only way she could, barefoot, down a flight of outdoor stairs.
Powell said she was watching TV when she smelled smoke, and said she first thought a pizza had burned.

"I ran down the hallway and I look in the hallway, and there's fire everywhere," Powell said. "Everyone was telling me to run down, run down. I was so scared, and I ran back in the house and I was looking out the windows and I was so scared. I was like the only one and I was like how could they forget me?"

Though Powell said one of her roommates left her without warning, she eventually mustered up the courage to walk down the stairs.

Vallejo plans to fundraise, so her friend can cheerlead with her this fall at Corning Union High and transition back to normal life.

The Corning Union High School Cheerleaders will have a dog wash fundraiser ($5 per dog) for Magen next Tuesday, July 8th at 1 pm in front of Napa Auto Parts and Ace Hardware in downtown Corning.


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