FERGUSON, Mo. – Bandaged and bruised, Tamika Williams stands strong but is still emotional when recalling what happened in a January house fire that shook her world.
“Every day, I try to stay strong and not cry about it, but it is emotional,” she said. “The pot of grease that I had on the stove, it ruptured into a fire inside and out.”
In a panic, Williams tried to somehow get the fire under control but it was too late.
“In the midst of that, I got swished with the fire, but I didn’t know at that time,” Williams said. “So, the next thing I thought was, 'get the kids out of the house.'”
That’s when neighbors heard Williams running out of the house at 12:30 a.m. screaming that her home was on fire.
“I just heard screaming noises, so I came up to see all the lights,” her neighbor said.
“I did everything to save them,” Williams said. “I wanted them saved.”
Thankfully, she did just that. Her three kids and the family’s cat – all safe.
But for Williams, EMS rushed her to the hospital with third-degree burns. Surgeons had to use skin graft on her face, neck, shoulder, and hands.
“Every day is a battle and I have to deal with hurts and pains,” she said. “I’m just grateful I have all my body parts.”
After healing in the ICU, Williams returned to her home to discover the majority of her and her kids’ belongings gone.
She said he’s tried to get answers from her landlord, but there’s no answer.
“Most of the stuff my kids had was brand new for Christmas,” Williams said. “I feel like I got hurt on top of hurt.”
While she tries to continue to fight that battle, the mom said she’s still coming to grips with the new reality every time she looks in the mirror.
“I see a survivor; I see a black, strong woman who loves her kids and did everything I had to do to save our lives,” she said.
Williams has to have another surgery on Tuesday that involves more skin grafting. She said it’s a painful process but it must be done.
Help Tamika Williams. Donate to her GoFundMe campaign here.