Girl dies of severe burns after saving brother from fire

HUNAN • A 12-year-old Chinese girl died from severe burns after using her body and a blanket to shield her younger brother from a fire that broke out at their home.

On Feb 22, Chen Zimo and her brother were sleeping in the bedroom they shared when an early morning blaze tore through their home in Changde, in southern China's Hunan province, Xiaoxiang Morning Post reported.

When their father, who was sleeping in another room, realised the house was in flames, he rushed to their room and found the siblings unconscious. The boy, five-year-old Mozi, was under a blanket, while his sister's body was on top.

The girl suffered burns on 55 per cent of her body and her brother had burns to 28 per cent of his body. Although the boy is now in stable condition, his sister died in the hospital five days later.

The father, Mr Chen, said Zimo was a sensible child and had started spending nights alone at home since she was four, as he was busy with his business and his wife often had to work night shifts as a nurse.

When Mozi was born, Zimo had to care for him.

After the blaze, Mr Chen started an online fund-raising drive, collecting one million yuan (S$205,000) within seven hours for the children's hospital bills.

He told the Post he would pay for Mozi's operation and donate the remainder in Zimo's name to charity and her elementary school.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2019, with the headline 'Girl dies of severe burns after saving brother from fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe