ROBERT LEE, Texas — A 26-year-old Robert Lee woman is being treated at University Medical Center in Lubbock for severe burns after a New Year’s Eve accident. She was injured when a gas can exploded on her.
“She’s a strong girl. She really is,” said Nicole Coffey about her cousin, Samantha Fernandez.
On Tuesday night, 26-year-old Samantha Fernandez was at a relatives home in Robert Lee celebrating the New Year.
Samantha was trying to rekindle the fire in an outdoor pit using a gasoline can. That’s when the can exploded and she caught on fire.
“She didn’t know that it had oil and gasoline in it. It was a mixture for a weed-eater. That’s why it was so hard for her not only to roll it off, but for me to put her out,” explained Nicole.
When they became aware of what was happening, Nicole and her daughter, Jada, ran outside to help Samantha and put out the fire.
“I just grabbed that blanket and ran outside. By the time I got to her she was in the driveway of the house rolling,”
Samantha was rushed to Shannon Medical Center, then airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock for treatment of third degree burns.
“It’s gonna be a long haul. I’ve seen her without the bandages and I saw her engulfed, so I already knew how bad it was gonna be. She’s 70% covered with burns,” added Nicole.
“Most of them are third degree burns. It’ll be months of recovery,” said Tiffany Coffey, Nicole’s sister.
Although the road to recovery will be a long one for Samantha, her family remains positive and they are grateful it wasn’t any worse.
To help with expenses, a GoFundMe and an account at the Robert Lee State Bank have been set-up in Samantha Fernandez’s name.