Life for Washington mother of three Angel Fiorini changed forever one night in October 2016, when she awoke to find her bedroom full of thick, black smoke. Her home was on fire, and the heat was already overpowering.
She immediately thought of her young children — Gianna, Vinnie, and Rosalie — who were supposed to be fast asleep in their beds, according to People.
Alone in the house, it was up to her to get the kids out.
Fiorini told Good Housekeeping:
“My heart dropped to my stomach — flames were blazing from door to ceiling.”
The mother quickly grabbed her youngest children, 4-year-old Vinnie and 2-year-old Rosalie, and dropped them off on the lawn before getting ready to head back in for 7-year-old Gianna.
But in the few moments it took to save them, the fire had grown exponentially.
At that point, the windows were popping from heat, and the flames had grown 20-feet high. The energy was so intense the mother felt like waves were pushing her back from the house.Angel Fiorini/Facebook
But still, she rushed inside to save her daughter:
“I saw myself standing outside doing nothing and questioning that for the rest of my life. I had this rush of maternal strength — I would walk through fire for my children.”
The smoke was so thick she had to “army crawl” on the floor toward her daughter’s bedroom. All the while, bits of melting house were falling off the ceiling onto her.
That’s when she heard her daughter quickly mumble, “Ma…” Her daughter’s call helped her find her in the thick smoke.
Fiorini grabbed her 7-year-old and again started the long crawl back to the front door.
When she finally made it to the entrance, the mom reached out only to watch as her skin “melted off onto the doorknob,” according to People.
Both of them both then fell unconscious just feet from the exit. Luckily, former volunteer firefighter Matt Burson was driving by when he spotted the blaze.
He ran into the house and managed to find the mother and child through the thick smoke. Burson pulled them to safety outside, but they were badly burned.
According to a GoFundMe campaign for the family, the mother sustained second- and third-degree burns on 43 percent of her body. Her children managed to escape less injured, but Gianna had second-degree burns on 14 percent of her body.
Fiorini told People:
“Gianna and I had skin charred, melting, hanging off of our arms and our hands.”
Amazingly, her children recovered, and Fiorini pulled through. She woke up 10 days after the fire after undergoing several skin graft surgeries.Angel Fiorini/Facebook
And the local community was quick to rally around the family, who had lost nearly everything in the fire.
They received more than $30,000 in donations and were given a trailer to live in and a car, according to Good Housekeeping.
Just over a year later, the family is doing better than ever. After 15 years together with boyfriend and father of her children, Aaron Fiorini, the two have tied the knot.Angel Fiorini/Facebook
With all of her scars proudly on display, the mother of three married the love of her life.
She now says she finds strength in knowing all she’s overcome.