Date Of Injury: January 2015
On January 7, 2015, I was injured in a fire that broke out while I was asleep. I had come from work earlier that evening, and I was dealing with bronchitis and unable to call off of work due to short staff. I remember going to bed around 11:30 or so. I woke up a couple of hours later to something beeping. I was feeling so out of it and groggy that I thought it was my cell phone running out of charge, or a neighbor’s alarm clock in my apartment building. This went on for I don’t know how many minutes. Then I started waking up more from loud, breaking sounds. I got up and made my way down the hallway of vintage apt and saw glowing. When I got to the living room, my whole living room couch and wall, drapes, up to the ceiling were on fire. Windows were breaking. My laptop was sitting there and exploding. I panicked, and went a got a bucket of water to splash on it, thinking I could put it out. By doing that, I caused a backdraft which shot at me and burned me. I felt the pain, skin tightening, but then I just remember trying to open my doors, both front and back, and I could not. I don’t know why. It’s like I forgot how to unlock my doors from the inside. Then I started looking for my 2 kitties. That’s all I remember. What happened next that I can recall, is someone holding outside on the ground, and I could see the sky, and I was screaming, holding my left arm up in the air, looking at the skin melting off. My arm and hand were black. I then heard a male voice trying to calm me. Then I go blank. I woke up almost a month later in a burn icu. I had 3rd degree burns to my arms, the left arm entirely, my clavicle, both shoulders, my left hand, and my back “wings.” I had been sedated and on a ventilator for 23 days, and very close to being trached, but somehow, some way, I miraculously started breathing on my own again. I had a grade 4 out of 4 smoke inhalation injury. That male voice I remember that night was a police officer. 4 brave police officers just happened to be driving down my block and they were hearing all the calls on the radio, but before the firemen could get there, they selflessly. bravely ran into my burning apt to save me. And they did. They were told a woman was in the burning apt. They broke down my door, and apparently, I had collapsed right by the door, so I got hit in the head, and they could hardly see a thing from all the smoke, but they were able to pull me out by my arms. A piece of the top door frame fell on me ,on fire, as they dragged me out, burning one of the officers on his hand. That same officer collapsed on his way down the stairs from the smoke. All 4 were treated for smoke inhalation and released…thank goodness. I lost everything I owned, except for a drinking glass and a couple of trinkets. My 2 kitties, Prudence and Kit Kat perished in the fire…:(:(:(. 4 weeks prior, my 3rd kitty, Funny Face had died from breast cancer that had spread to her lungs. I don’t have any children. Those furballs were my babies. I couldn’t save them. My story made the news… Never thought I’d be in the news for something so horrific, or in the news period. I am so grateful, but have enormous guilt that those 4 police officers were put in that situation. I have communicated with them via Facebook only. I want to meet them in person one day. My brother has had the pleasure of meeting them.