Houston woman suffers burns all over her body after going back into fiery home to save 6 dogs
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A woman who ran into her burning home to save her six dogs underwent two surgeries this week after suffering second- and third-degree burns to her body.
On Friday, December 23, around 7 am, Patricia Michel’s home was engulfed in flames.
“She brought the dogs because it was so cold and she had a fenced yard, and she had the dogs in there and they had made a mess that she was cleaning up,” said her sister Lena Martinez. “That’s literally how she described it. She said it was like a snake, but a fire snake. She said it literally turned around, and boom! And then she ran out.”
When Patricia Michel is released from the hospital, her sister says she doesn’t know where she will live after the house was destroyed.
Michel ran outside to get some water, but quickly remembered that it had been turned off due to freezing.
“She said she looked out into the driveway. It looked like two hands of fire engulfed her son’s car and I think that’s when it hit the gas line,” Martinez recalled.
Michel’s son passed away in September. His car still had oxygen tanks in the back.
Although the cause of the fire has not been officially determined, Martinez said her sister was using butane to heat her home. The house had no central heating and air conditioning.
Surveillance video captured Michel’s neighbor pulling her out of the house and onto the street, but she went back inside to save her six dogs. At that point she suffered second and third degree burns all over her body.
Martinez, who was by her side at the hospital, said two of her dogs were found and are at an animal shelter. They are working to find the other four.
“When you love something and something like this happens, you go into instinct and sometimes you put your personal safety to the side,” Martinez said.
Michel has already had two operations this week and is unsure if she will need any additional operations. She has not received any word on when she will be released.
The house that caught fire had been in her family for more than six decades. Martinez said their family has so many memories on Norlinda Drive.
“I haven’t even gone to look at the house because I know it’s going to be emotional and I know it’s a material thing, but it’s still — that house had so many memories in it,” Martinez said. “All the grandparents washed in the kitchen sink.”
The house is a total loss. When Michel leaves the hospital, Martinez said she doesn’t know where her sister will go.
“We’ve talked about it and we’re not really sure,” Martinez said. “We’re not really sure. It’s too much.”
Her family has set up a GoFundMe to help with her medical expenses.
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