(ABC) — Three weeks ago, a popular female sports broadcaster, Hannah Storm, was hurt when her propane grill exploded. She suffered severe burns and is still recovering, but today, she returns to work at ESPN.
The flames hit her like a ball of fire.
“It came right at me and then I looked down and I looked down and I saw that I was on fire, and that’s – that’s – it’s a terrible feeling,” Storm recalls.
It was December 11th. Storm was getting dinner ready for her family, using the propane grill at her Connecticut home.
She lit the grill, left for about 10 minutes and when she returned, the wind had killed the fire.
“After I turned the gas off, I relit the flame and it was a wall of fire, huge explosion. So much force that it blew the doors of the grill completely off.”
The flames still licking at her face, neck, and chest, Storm called out for help.
“I yelled inside to my 15-year-old daughter, who was in the kitchen, mommy’s on fire. You have to call 911,” says Storm.
The flames singed the sports anchors eyebrows, eyelashes and most of her hair.
It left her with first degree burns on her neck and face and second degree burns on her badly injured left hand.
“I mean I had my kids changing my bandages, come on. Leaving little sticky notes – you know, this is when you take this pill, mommy. My middle daughter, you know, washing my hair for me.”
Her recovery continues, but she is back to work, co-hosting the Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday with Good Morning America’s Josh Elliot, and Wednesday, returns to ESPN.
Now she’s sharing her story and how lucky she feels to be able to tell it so soon.
“I spent an hour in hair and makeup this morning. I have on false eyelashes. This is all fake hair, but it is a long – it is a hard road for burn victims. I was by far the most fortunate person in my burn unit.”
What happened to Hannah Storm can happen to anyone. Propane gas is heavier than air so it sat on top of her grill instead of getting blown away by the wind.
It’s important to wait at least 15 minutes before relighting a grill to make sure all the propane gas has dissipated.