Survivors share what it's like to live 'After the Fire'


"After the Fire" documentary posterWhen you tuck yourself into bed in your residence hall at night, the last thing on your mind is waking up to a life-threatening crisis. But that's exactly what the students of Seton Hall University experienced January 19, 2000 when they woke to find their dorm ablaze.

Many residents initially assumed it was just another false alarm, but three students died in a fire that was deliberately set in Boland Hall and dozens of others were injured. Two of those survivors are coming to UAB to share their stories.

The documentary "After the Fire: A True Story of Heroes & Cowards" will be shown Wednesday, August 28 at 6 p.m. in the Center Court of the Rec Center. A discussion with Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons, who both suffered severe burn injuries in the fire, will follow the film.

Theirs is a story of survival, perseverance, inspiration, hope, courage and friendship. They aim to inspire students by showing that strength, knowledge and motivation can help overcome any obstacle. Shawn and Alvaro are the perfect example that with these tools there truly is life "After the Fire."