December 1, 2016 3:44 pm
Updated: December 1, 2016 4:23 pm

‘I caught on fire’: N.S. mother of four seriously injured in blaze

Nine days ago, a Nova Scotia family's world was turned upside down when fire ripped through their home. A mother of four was seriously injured in the blaze. Now, family, friends and complete strangers are working to try and help the family get back on their feet, just weeks before Christmas. Global's Natasha Pace explains.

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Annette Conway says she’s lucky to be alive after being injured in a grease fire in her Halifax home on Nov. 22.

“I tried to put it out, tried to control it myself and I caught on fire,” Conway said Thursday.

The mother of four was left with serious burns over much of her body. The worst injuries she sustained were on her arms, which she used to protect her face in the blaze.

Doctors say Conway will need plastic surgery and that it will likely be a year until she recovers fully from the burns.

Neighbours were ‘guardian angels’


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Two of Conway’s neighbours called 911 and tried to keep her calm until help arrived. Because of that, she now calls them her guardian angels.

“It could have really been way worse. I’m just glad she’s fine,” said Tanya Husbands, Conway’s neighbour, who was doing her dishes when the fire started.

“I heard her screaming at the top of her lungs, like someone was in a lot of pain. I ran out with no socks on or anything,” she said. “I don’t know about a hero. I just think that neighbours should look out for neighbours,” she said.

“They held me the whole time … and I just want to tell them I am so grateful for their help and for everyone else who came to help me that date,” Conway said.

Starting over weeks before Christmas

From the outside, it’s hard to see the impact the fire has had on Conway’s home. But inside, the family lost nearly everything, including all their Christmas gifts.

They are staying in a motel for now and have no idea when they will be allowed to return home.

“I want to go home now,” said Conway, fighting back tears.

“But if we could get home for Christmas, it would mean the world to us.”

Conway’s sister has set up a GoFundMe page to try and help the family get back on their feet and try to make Christmas as normal as possible. The goal is to raise $4,000.

“It’s great to see the community and people that are not even from here …donating,” said Hedy Cameron, Annette’s mother. “It’s wonderful to have people that care.”

“I’m so grateful for all the help that we’re getting,” said Conway. “I’m seeing so much kindness and humanity. My heart is just, growing every day from all the love we are receiving.”

Those interested in helping the Conway family can visit the fundraising page here.

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