House fire survivor recalls tragic day - WNEM TV 5

House fire survivor recalls tragic day

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A massive fire at a local home left several families without a place to live.

It happened on May 6.

For the first time since that tragic day, a Bay City man who was rescued by his heroic neighbor spoke to TV5.

“I started feeling my skin melt and my daughter is outside screaming,” said Oscar Tejada II.

It is a day he will never forget. It’s the day his two kids almost lost their dad.

Tejada was home with his 10-year-old daughter Sophia frying chicken inside the bedroom of the two-unit apartment in Bay City.

“It started splattering in the bedroom and something must’ve sparked,” he said.

He said those flames grew and grew in the blink of an eye.

“They looked literally 10 feet tall,” Tejada said.

He has a prosthetic leg, but he couldn’t find it.

“I felt like I was a GI-Joe toy being melted,” Tejada said.

Then his little girl came running into the room.

“She burnt the bottom of her feet I think first or second-degree burns,” he said.

Sophia was able to get out and get help from the neighbors while her dad broke a window and climbed out.

One of those neighbors was Kyle Lee.

“I think it was him and two other guys that lifted me up to the grass,” Tejada said.

It’s a move that saved his life.

“I want to thank him very much for what he did and for not being selfish because the flames were coming out that window and they were carrying me out,” Tejada said.

It was a sigh of relief as Oscar realized both he and his daughter were finally safe. But then he realized his therapy dog and best friend Casey was still stuck inside.

“She started barking. The guy who helped me almost ran back in the house, but the fire department stopped him,” Tejada said. “That little girl was always sweet. If I went to the store she jumped in the car. Anywhere I was she was right next to me.”

Casey didn’t survive and Tejada is left grieving in the hospital with first and second-degree burns covering 23 percent of his body.

He said he wishes he could take it back.

“It taught me a lesson in life that sometimes we take shortcuts we shouldn’t take. I shouldn’t have been doing what I was doing. I shouldn’t have been cooking. I should’ve gotten up and gone to the kitchen,” Tejada said.

He said his kids are staying with their mom for the time being, but they lost all their clothing and personal items in the fire.

A GoFundMe page was created to help the family.

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