An intensive care unit nurse at Oklahoma City’s Mercy Hospital was in the middle of her 12-hour shift treating coronavirus patients Tuesday when she heard that her house was on fire, according to local media.
Tina Irwin, who lives about four miles away from the hospital, hopped in her car and sped home, where three of her four children and their pets were still inside, according to KOCO 5 News.
“Please mom, help us,” her daughter reportedly said over the phone before the line went dead.
Irwin arrived, reunited with her children and saved a few belongings, then they escaped to safety. She parked so close to the house that her bumper melted.
“I’ve been working frontline as a COVID ICU nurse since April…coming home exhausted,” the single mother told the station. “This was my safe place.”
An image of the blaze posted on a GoFundMe fundraiser for the family shows almost the entire one-story home engulfed in flames, dwarfing firefighters battling it in the front yard. Photos of the aftermath show a charred interior with barely anything left untouched by fire.
Irwin’s son, visiting for the holidays, told KOCO 5 that he heard a “pop” in the garage and opened the door to check. It is unclear what caused the fire.
“The whole garage is on fire, massive fire,” he told the station. “I just shut the door, hollered for my sisters and animals and got them out.”
Everyone was safe, though the home was destroyed, according to Patti Fanshier, a family friend who set up the GoFundMe.
“The family only has what clothes are on their backs,” she wrote. “They will need the basic necessities for the next couple of weeks, but if we could bless her family financially, any amount would help while they pick up the pieces, especially during this holiday season.”