Norwalk resident Sakeem Mathews lost nearly everything he owned in a recent apartment fire.
"I'm happy I've alive," the 22-year-old said.
Mathews was not home last weekend when his first-floor apartment, located at 18 1/2 State St., caught fire.
Mathews said he was fortunate to be away from home that evening because he is a heavy sleeper and may not have been able to wake up in time to escape.
"My neighbors didn't even know there was a fire," Mathews said until police arrived and helped them evacuate.
The two other apartments located at the State Street residence received smoke damage, firefighters reported.
No one was injured in the blaze, but Mathews' apartment was destroyed by the fire.
He lost everything, but a couple T-shirts.
The American Red Cross and local churches have been willing to help Mathews.
"I've been staying with a friend," he said. "But, I have no family here and no money and no food."
Mathews works second shift at MTD in Willard.
Mathews, who grew up in Los Angeles, had lived in that State Street apartment for the past 3 1/2 years.
"I've never been in a situation like this," he said. "It's really a struggle. I almost feel abandoned."
Shoes, a game console, television, television stand, couch, chairs, queen-size mattress, socks and toiletries all burned up in the fire.
"Everything," Mathews said.
"I thought I only had a little stuff, but you realize what you did have," he said.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, according to the report.
Anyone wishing to help Mathews can send him a message on Facebook or call the Reflector at (419) 668-3775. The Reflector can forward messages along to Mathews.