Santee woman burned while lighting family's gas fireplace speaks out

She says 'wall of flames' came from fireplace

SANTEE, Calif. - A young woman is speaking out for the first time since she was badly burned while lighting a fireplace in her family's Santee home.

Schannon Burr, 18, says a "wall of flames" came out from her fireplace on Thursday. Now, her face is covered in second-degree burns and her arms have first-degree burns.

"It hurts to move my hand or back or to make a fist," she told 10News.

Burr said she was trying to light the gas fireplace inside her family's Santee home.

"I had turned the gas on just a little bit and the lighter wouldn't light," she said. "When it finally did, it blew up in my face. My hair caught on fire."

Burr said she quickly tried to back away.

"Basically, the next thing I remember is being on the other side of a table in a ball," she said.

Burr said San Diego Gas and Electric checked out the fireplace and told her a blockage in the gas spout was the problem. She was treated for her injures and said she knows she is lucky to be alive.

"It could have been way worse," said Burr.

She said she is staying away from the fireplace and urging others to be careful.

"Make sure you light the match first and then turn on the gas," she said.

Burr said SDG&E recommends that you stay at least an arm's length away when lighting the fireplace and use matches that are specially made to light fireplaces.

As for her family's fireplace, Burr said it is being converted to burn wood.

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