PARIS — Erica Curry Van Ee from West Michigan was in Paris attending an AirBNB conference as the Friday night attacks happened.
She spoke to FOX 17 roughly three hours after the attacks began around 6:30 p.m., which is 12:30 a.m. local time in Paris. Van Ee said she was in a deli in the same neighborhood where the first explosions were heard and she and her friends began receiving calls and texts asking if they were okay, but she hadn't realized what had happened yet.
"Then another friend from Boise got a call as well and it all started to unfold," she told FOX 17 by phone on Friday. "The complete temper and mood of the entire restaurant changed."
Van Ee said she and her friends tried leaving the restaurant but they couldn't get a ride because of the chaos happening in the city.
"Everyone cashed out and then we tried to actually get an Uber or taxi out and we couldn't get one, so the restaurant owner opened her cellar and locked the door and prepared for a lock down situation," she said.
"Its been pretty scary."
Van Ee happened to be featured on FOX 17 in March for a story about adoption records being unsealed for the first time in Ohio. She was among hundreds in Ohio who were able to apply for their original birth certificate for the first time ever.