BIG STONE GAP, Va. (WJHL) – Two children injured in a house fire in late May are still undergoing treatment for burns sustained in the blaze.
The fire broke out at a home on U.S. Highway 23 Southbound in Big Stone Gap shortly after 6 a.m.
According to the homeowner, Amanda Christian, the cause still remains under investigation. She said the home had been in her family for five generations and is now considered a total loss.
“I never thought it would happen, but I know anything can happen in life,” said Christian.
Christian told News Channel 11 that she and her family woke up early on May 26 to a smoke-filled home. She said they noticed the power was out and smelt the smoke.
4-year-old Zander and 5-year-old Sebastian were inside the home with her and her boyfriend when the blaze broke out.
“A family home is lost, but other than that, everything else can be replaced, I mean we’re all alive and as healthy as we can be after all this,” she said.
Christian said it’s a day she says she’ll never forget. When she woke up to the smoke, she said her adrenaline kicked in and her first and only thought was rescuing her children.
She said she had to go outside of the home and through a window to get them out safely.
“When I first went in there, it was just really dark. Whenever I got the window broken open, the smoke just rolled out and I got Zander and I saw was smoke coming out, I didn’t see flames,” she said.
4-year-old Zander was pulled from the window but it was a little harder to get to his older brother Sebastian.
She had to go back in and get him from the living room. According to Christian, his exposure in the home led to more severe injuries than Zander.
Everyone who was inside the home was immediately taken to a Kingsport hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and burns. However, the burns on the two boys were so severe that they had to be taken to Wake Forest Medical Center in North Carolina.
Christian said doctors told her Zander’s burns covered 12% of his body, but the burns on her other son covered more than half of his.
“His (Sebastian’s) burns were the worst where he stayed in the house and actually walked through it,” Christian said. “He had 51% of his body burned, and he just had surgery on Thursday, a skin graft surgery.”
As of Tuesday, he continues to undergo treatment at the facility in North Carolina. While Zander is set to be discharged from the hospital soon, it’s a long road ahead for Sebastian.
Christian said her family is helping them start over by finding housing and donating furniture and clothing, but her cousin started a donation account to help the family with medical bills.
She said at the time of reporting that she’s just living one day at a time, being strong for her kids during this difficult period.