Waltquaries Evans says he was sleeping when smoke woke him up on February 18th. He was spending the night with friends, at 78 Grape Street. Waltquaries jumped out of a second floor window to escape the flames, but still sustained burns to his hand. His recovery took three weeks.
Although Waltquaries and his friend, 13-year-old Giovanni Delorm made it out, his friends, 14-year-old Gage Reavey, 13-year-old Gregory Kugler, 12-year-old Kandee Kugler, and 6 year-old Kaiden Kugler did not.
When asked how his life has changed since the fire, Evans says it's the loss of his friends that still hurts, "it didn't really change it's just that I had just lost a couple friends that's the only thing that really changed about it."
This week Waltquaries is a camper at the 17th International Burn Camp. The camp is dedicated to helping teenagers cope with burn injuries. For Waltquaries, meeting other burn victims is helping him get back to being a kid, "it's good to have like people to play with in the same situation as you and we laugh and joke about stuff," says Evans.