66-year-old suffers first, second and third-degree burns after Waleska house fire early Saturday

Grandmother suffers serious burns in Cherokee house fire

Investigators said heat from the flames woke 66-year-old Christine Phyfe up. That’s when she sprang into action to get her family out of their burning Cherokee County home.

Phyfe’s granddaughter, Chelsee Miller, told Channel 2’s Ashley Swann it’s only because of her grandmother’s heroic efforts that the family managed to escape.

“She is the one who woke up, felt everything and went into survival mode and got everybody out,” Miller said.

That included Phyfe’s two grandsons, ages 8 and 11, a 2-year-old granddaughter and her husband, who recently underwent hip replacement surgery.

Seeing what little is left of the home, Miller calls it a miracle.

“She was really a hero, like she’s always been our entire lives,” Miller told Swann.

Now Phyfe’s family is trying to be strong for her. Miller said her grandmother is in serious condition at Grady Memorial Hospital with first, second and third degree burns over much of her body.

“She’s just the most amazing person I know. And she’s going pull through,” Miller said. “She’s just sleeping and resting and fighting. She’s still fighting in her sleep.”

Fire investigators said the home didn’t have working smoke detectors and the family didn’t have renter’s insurance. Miller said despite losing so much, her family feels so thankful.

“The house is a house, there’s a million more like it. Toys, clothes, furniture… it’s all the same,” Miller said. “She’s one in a million and that’s what we want.”

Investigators are still working to figure out what started the fire.

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