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Two Ocean Isle Beach fire survivors heading to Washington

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It has been almost a year since the tragic Ocean Isle Beach fire that killed six USC students and one Clemson student.

While the memories of the fire live on, two that survived the fire are doing anything in their power to make sure no one has to relive the heartbreak that they have had to deal with.

Ashley Purdue remembers the night all too well. She was on the first floor near the front door.

"I just remember waking up, and knowing that there was a fire," Purdue said. "I couldn't breathe."

Tripp Wylie was sleeping next to a second floor window and kicked it out to escape. He landed safely in the water.

Both students use the word "luck" to describe their circumstances.

"Luck -- it shouldn't have to come down to luck at all," Purdue said.

"It should not have to come down to luck," Wylie said.

The two survivors are heading to Washington this week to encourage Congress to pass two bills aimed at improving fire safety on college campuses nationwide.

"You can't put a price on a person's life," Wylie said.

While the Ocean Isle fire happened at a house away from campus, the students believe the two fire safety bills can save lives on college campuses throughout the country.

"Seeing so many families devastated just hurt me, having to go see, walk around campus and seeing everybody just devastated, I don't want anybody to feel that," Purdue said.

Purdue says she's going to all she can to convince lawmakers to pass the bill.

"I don't want more people like that to -- to just be lost in something so devastating when there could be a chance that fire sprinklers could help us out," Purdue said

Purdue and Wylie hope that surviving a fire shouldn't have to come down to just luck in the future.

Reported by Jordan Sandler

Posted by Jeremy Turnage

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