12-Year-Old girl burnt to death while protecting little brother from fire
"If she had stayed under her own blanket, she would have been in a less serious condition than her brother..."
One of the saddest true stories of sacrifice.
A 12-year-old girl died from severe burns while protecting her 5-year-old brother from a fire that broke out at their home.
The tragedy happened on 22 February 2019 in Hunan province, China.
According to news reports, the girl, Chen Zimo, and her brother, Mozi, were sleeping in their bedroom when the fire broke out, at around 3 am. Apparently, the child used her own body and a blanket to save her brother.
When their father realised that the house was ablaze, he rushed to their room, only to find the children unconscious. Mozi was covered in a blanket with his sister’s body hugging him.
Sadly, the girl suffered third-degree burns with 55% of her skin being burnt. She died after a 5-day struggle in hospital. According to doctors, she would have suffered less burns if she had stayed under her own blanket.
The boy’s condition is reportedly stable.
“If she (Zimo) had stayed under her own blanket, she would have been in a less serious condition than her brother,” the children’s father told the media.
The heartbroken father also revealed that his daughter was a caring soul who started taking care of her brother from a young age. The parents led a hectic lifestyle, with the father busy with his business and mother having to work night shifts as a nurse.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family.
Mums and dads, here are some simple fire safety tips to remember and practise:
- If you are in an unfamiliar place, like say, the mall, spot and note the fire exits.
- Unless you are trapped, exit by the stairs. Do not use the lifts. The most effective way out is to lay low and move.
- If you are trapped in your house, move to a room with a window. Call 995 and let them know your situation.
Open the windows as widely as possible and shout for help. Do not attempt to jump. Do not throw anyone down. It is dangerous.
- Do not smoke inside the house, especially when you are going to sleep.
An important reminder when charging and using Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) like E-Scooters:
- Avoid overcharging the battery, especially leaving it to charge overnight.
- When charging these batteries, place them on flat, hard surfaces so the heat spreads evenly.
Do not place the charging batteries near combustible materials.
- At home, keep candles at a safe distance from the bed, carpet, and curtains. Extinguish them before sleeping.
- Switch off electrical appliances when not in use. Don’t forget to unplug the iron after use.
- Call an electrician instead of undertaking any electrical work on your own at home.
- Do not throw flammable things down the refuse chute.
- Keep flammables like matches, lighters, etc out of the reach of the children.
- Do not store more than one LPG cylinder in the kitchen. Check the tubing of the cooking gas for signs of wear and tear.
It may come as a shock that it is smoke inhalation, and not burns, that is the number 1 cause of death related to fires. Smoke inhalation occurs when the victim breathes in the products of combustion during a fire. Carbon monoxide poisoning has been found to be the leading cause of death in smoke inhalation.
- Call for help. Singapore emergency ambulance no is 995.
- It is important to drag the child away from the smoke and get him out into the fresh air.
- Have the child sit down until he begins to feel better. Cover him with a blanket.
- After coughing has subsided, offer a glass of water to calm a burning throat.
- Place a cool washcloth over his eyes and forehead.
- Check his breathing. Loosen clothes around the neck and torso to help breathing.
- If he is unconscious, turn his head to the side to prevent possible vomit from choking him.
- See a doctor as soon as possible for further assessment.