Scenes from Apex

Staff WritersOctober 6, 2006 

WAITING FOR HIS MOTHER

Charles Hobby stood waiting for his 87-year-old mother on the corner of Waterford Green Drive and Center Street, about two miles east of downtown.

He said he had been watching the N.C. State football game and turned on the news and discovered a commotion mere miles from his home. He thought of his mother, Maude Hobby, who lived still closer to the fire, and he called to check on her.

He told her to turn off the air conditioning and gather her necessities. He tried to reach her home but was turned back. He said rescue workers agreed to fetch her and he waited.

"She's just kind of panicking," he said.

After about 20 minutes, an SUV drove up containing Maude Hobby.

As Hobby stood, waiting Sean Hare, 25, walked to the intersection and asked a state trooper blocking the road if someone could get his 5-month-old boxer puppy, Rebel, from his townhome yards from the burning plant.

The trooper said no one could go.

AT THE HOSPITAL, GASPING FOR AIR

At 2 a.m., Chloe Hill, 23, sat waiting at Western Wake Medical Center with about 20 other victims who were coughing, breathing heavily and drinking as much water as they could.

Hill, from Nashville, Tenn. was visiting her parents in Apex when, "I started getting a knot in my throat."

Soon, it moved to her chest. "I see a whole bunch of people from downtown Apex with similar symptoms," she said.

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