BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) – Two children injured in a house fire in late May are still being treated for burns sustained in the blaze.
The fire started in a home on US Highway 23 Southbound in Big Stone Gap shortly after 6 a.m.
According to the owner, Amanda Christian, the cause is still under investigation. She said the house has been in her family for five generations and is now considered a total loss.
“I never thought this would happen, but I know anything can happen in life,” Christian said.
Christian told News Channel 11 that she and her family woke up early on May 26 to a smoky house. She said they noticed there was no power and they smelled smoke.
Zander, 4, and Sebastian, 5, were inside the house with her and her boyfriend when the fire broke out.
“A family home is lost but other than that everything else can be replaced, I mean we are all alive and as healthy as we can be after all of this,” she said.
Christian said it’s a day she says she will never forget. When she woke up to the smoke, she said her adrenaline was surging and her first and only thought was to save her children.
She said she had to get out of the house and through a window to get them out safely.
“When I first walked in there it was really, really dark. Every time I opened the window the smoke came out and I grabbed Zander and saw smoke coming out , I didn’t see any flames,” she said.
Zander, 4, was pulled out of the window but it was a bit more difficult to reach his older brother Sebastian.
She had to go in and get him out of the living room. According to Christian, his exposure at home resulted in more serious injuries than Zander.
Everyone inside the house was immediately taken to a hospital in Kingsport and treated for smoke inhalation and burns. However, both boys’ burns were so severe that they had to be taken to Wake Forest Medical Center in North Carolina.
Christian said doctors told him Zander’s burns covered 12% of his body, but his other son’s burns covered more than half of his.
“His (Sebastian) burns were the worst where he stayed in the house and walked through it,” Christian said. “He had 51% of his body burned, and he just had surgery on Thursday, a skin graft operation.”
As of Tuesday, he continues to undergo treatment at the North Carolina facility. With Zander expected to be released from hospital soon, Sebastian has a long road ahead.
Christian said his family was helping them start over by finding a place to live and donating furniture and clothes, but his cousin opened a donation account to help the family pay for medical bills.
She said at the time of the report that she only lives one day at a time, being strong for her children during this difficult time.