Texas teen saves 3 family members with COVID-19 from early morning fire

WACO, Texas — A Texas teen used her sense of smell to sniff out an early morning house fire, helping three family members suffering from COVID-19 to escape.

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Bianca Rivera, 17, of Waco, warned her family members, who had lost their sense of smell since contracting the coronavirus, KWTX reported.

The fire broke out about 2 a.m. Friday, and Rivera was able to alert her family, the television station reported.

“I don’t really count myself as a hero,” Rivera told KWTX. “I would just do whatever anyone else would do for their own family. I just wanted to get everyone else safe and alive. That’s all I wanted, was to keep everyone alive.”

The home was engulfed in flames by the time the Waco Fire Department arrived at the scene.

Rivera said she smelled something burning in the house.

“I started smelling burnt plastic and that’s when I got more alert and ran outside of my room and I couldn’t even pass the hallway because it was filled with so much smoke,” Rivera told KWTX. “I knew I had to wake everyone up.”

“I opened the back door and I got everyone out one by one.”

Rivera also was able to safely evacuate the family’s four dogs.

“Honestly it was just me protecting my family and getting them to safety,” Rivera told KWTX. “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.”

The Red Cross is assisting the family, who is staying at an area motel.

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