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St. Catherines woman recovering after receiving severe burns from a grease fire


A warning, this story contains graphic images.

A St Catharines woman is recovering after she received severe burns from a grease fire earlier this month.

Second and third degree burns cover large portions of Rebecca Coady’s arms and legs.

“All I could smell was burnt hair, and my skin was just dripping off in a way.”

The 23-year-old was making mozzarella sticks on the stove top when the pan caught fire, that’s when she grabbed the pan to remove it from her apartment.

“Sure enough just panicked, moved the oil, the oil spilled all over my arm. My arm went up in flames and trying to get out of the apartment, I slipped in the oil as well.”

She was taken to the St. Catharines hospital before being rushed to the burn unit at Hamilton General where she underwent 2 skin graft surgeries.

“They took it from here and put it all over my arm up to my shoulder, and then I have it on my calf from falling.”

Her decision to pick up the pan is one the St. Catharines fire department sees often.

“That’s the biggest mistake you can make because that’s where the burns come from, the oil will spill onto your clothing, your skin and you’ll get a burn from that.”

This fire was the third grease fire in St. Catharines in the past 3 weeks.

On average, St Catharines fire fighters suit up to attend 100 fires each year, the majority of which are grease fires.

If faced with the same situation, a lid is often your best defense.

Lars Larson, a fire prevention officer with St. Catherines Fire Services, explains, “You can also use it as a shield, slide it across the top of the pot. it should go out and at that time you reach across and shut the heat off to the stove.”

As for Coady, her friends have set up a Go-Fund-Me account to help raise money while she recuperates.

“I work retail mainly and right now I can’t because I still have a lot of physio even just to make a fist with my hand, its hard.”

As she begins on the long road to recovery.



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