March 22, 2011
Awakened by the sound of glass breaking and seeing a "ton of smoke and flames", in an effort to save herself, Phillips pushed out her bedroom window screen, grabbed a blanked, and escaped from her burning home. Recalling that she cried as she lay in the snow with only the blanket for warmth, she called for her cat and dog. Phillips then walked through the frozen snow barefoot to make it over to another Pennock Island home owned by Katy & Larry Suiter around 5:00 am. Afterwards, Phillips reported she couldn't feel her feet for 6-8 hours because they were so numb from the freezing walk for help.
Vivian Phillips' Pennock Island home burns to the ground - March 5th.
The United States Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and the City of Ketchikan fire boat all responded. Katy Suiter said all those who responded were so very nice to Phillips and she was checked out by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to make sure she wasn't in need of hospitalization. Phillips suffered a couple of blisters on the tips of her fingers, but other than that she was unharmed physically.
The fire has consumed the home, & now Phillips' shed begins to burn.
In a letter written to SitNews, Katy Suiter said many will remember Vivian Phillips as being a great waitress at The Landing and then later at Cape Fox Lodge. She worked the morning and lunch shift in both places, and she was recognizable by her long, gray hair that she wore in a single braid down her back, as well as her infectious laugh. However, you had to frequent either establishment prior to 10 years ago, as that is when Phillips had a brain aneurysm and has not been able to work since that time.
Remains of Phillips' home after the fire
For those who would like to donate and help Phillips put her life and dreams back together, an account at Tongass Federal Credit Union has been set up in Vivian Phillips' name. Tongass Federal Credit Union is located at 2000 Tongass Avenue in Ketchikan.
Publish A Letter in SitNews Read Letters/Opinions