Pregnant SD woman airlifted to Minnesota burn unit after grease fire
KIMBALL, S.D. — A pregnant south-central South Dakota woman was airlifted to a burn unit in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon after a grease fire left third-degree burns on her stomach and legs.
Pam Bice, 20, of Kimball, was outside at her twin sister's house before the fire started, she said by phone Tuesday afternoon. Her sister, Madison Bice, found the fire in the kitchen when she brought her dog inside.
Pam said a pan on the stove caught fire while they were outside. Madison grabbed the pan, and on her way out of the house, she and her sister ran into each other, causing the pan to spill and catching Pam's stomach and legs on fire.
Pam said the fire caused her pants to melt onto her legs. Once the fire was out, she went inside to make sure the two children in the house were safe and that there was no longer fire inside. The children, ages 2 and 3, were unharmed, although there was some damage in the house above the stove area.
Madison called the Kimball Fire Department at 12:18 p.m.
Kimball Fire Chief Todd Yeaton said the fire was out by the time he arrived, and the department did a structural sweep of the house with a thermal imaging camera to confirm that the house was no longer in danger.
Both Pam and Madison were taken by ambulance to Chamberlain, where Madison's hands were treated for second-degree burns. Pam and Madison's friend Makayla Chemla was also at the house when the fire broke out. Chemla suffered a mild burn on her foot and did not have to be transported to a hospital.
Due to the severity of her burns, Pam was airlifted from Chamberlain to a burn unit in Minneapolis. She said doctors wanted to do a skin graft on her stomach, but because she is 33 weeks pregnant, they instead decided to have her stay in the hospital for about a week to see if she will need to have a C-section.