Texas teen saves her family from house fire after COVID-19 prevented them from smelling smoke

by Peter Heck · Jan 19th, 2021 10:42 am

Last Updated Jan 20th, 2021 at 10:35 am

Bianca Rivera — a 17-year-old Waco, Texas, girl — saved her entire family when she woke up to the smell of smoke and evacuated her three other family members and four dogs.

The Rivera family had been hard hit by COVID-19, and all but Bianca had lost their sense of smell as a result of the virus. So when the fire broke out at 2 a.m., none of them were able to detect the smell of smoke overtaking the home.

"I don't really count myself as a hero," Rivera told a local news station. "I just did what anyone else would do for their own family. I just wanted to get everyone out safe and alive."

When she first woke up to the smell of "burnt plastic," Rivera said she got her family out the back door. She then went in for the family pets.

"Honestly it was just me protecting my family and getting them to [safety]. It didn't matter to me if I was going to get hurt or I was going to get burned as long as I got them out safe and sound, I was going to be fine," she said.

The Waco Fire Department declared the house a total loss and said the "family is lucky to be alive."


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