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'It was just fight or flight mode' says Nashville chef who survived Christmas bombing

Nashville bombing
Posted at 4:53 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 20:06:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville chef and her boyfriend are displaced from their apartment following the Christmas bombing.

Jess Lambert said there was significant smoke and water damage from ruptured pipes when they evacuated after the RV explosion.

"Everyone in my building was out in the atrium kind of like zombies we didn’t know what was going on," Lambert said.

She lives at the Lofts at 160 above the Old Spaghetti Factory.

"From the blast, the glass shattered all over me, so I have very small cuts that are all over my body," Lambert said.

She was able to safely evacuate.

"It was just fight or flight mode," she said.

Her neighbor and boyfriend, Süleyman Can Kinaç, grabbed cell phone video of the destruction. She's thankful no innocent people were killed, and she doesn't want the bomber to get any more attention.

"I don’t want to give any power to the whole situation. It’s horrible, it’s such a tragedy," Lambert said.

At this point, it's unclear which buildings are OK, and which will be condemned since Metro codes employees can't get on-site yet.

"I don’t know if there’s anything salvageable in there," Lambert said.

As a worker in the restaurant industry, the Christmas bombing is another blow to a tough year due to COVID-19 closures. She fears her apartment is a total loss.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be allowed to go back in there, hopefully we’ll know more in the next few days,” Lambert said.

A friend at Etch restaurant, where Lambert works, made her a GoFundMe account as the restaurant community is rallying around her during this difficult time.

“I’m just very grateful and I feel very loved," Lambert said.

As she takes steps to rebuild her life, she has faith that Second Avenue will one day be the same as it was before.

"I love this city, it’s a horrible thing that happened, and I know that Nashville can rebuild after this," Lambert said.

They've started the insurance process but it's unclear what will be covered. The American Red Cross is providing assistance to residents as well as the people who were stating a nearby hostel. Displaced residents can reach them at 1-800-REDCROSS.