Justina Page was severely burned and lost one of her 22-month-old twins in a house fire.
“Do what you know to do — like change the batteries in smoke detectors — and be proactive, not reactive. Sprinklers would have made a difference, and that’s why we’re currently looking to get them installed.”
Name: Justina Page
Date of fire: March 7, 1999
Age at time of fire: 31
Location: Houston, Texas
Injury: Severely burned and lost one of her 22 month old twins
Awakened in the early hours of the morning by the sounds of explosions, by the time Justina Page comprehended what was happening, all she could see was smoke and fire. Her family’s Houston, Texas, house was fully engulfed. Before she could react, her husband had thrown her out the window and disappeared to go after their six children. Justina was right behind him, running back to save the kids. In the confusion, a burning bookcase fell and pinned Justina until her husband returned to help her to the lawn. While waiting for the ambulance, Justina lost consciousness as others realized that one of the children was still in the house.
Six weeks later, Justina was awakened from a medically induced coma to the tragic news that Amos, one of her 22-month-old twins, has perished in the fire. Benjamin, Amos’ twin, had spent four weeks in a coma. Justina had missed Amos’ funeral and wasn’t able to comfort Benjamin or be supportive of her other surviving family members.
Prior to the fire, the twins were bright and active. Amos was mischievous and constantly getting the two into trouble. He was an avid music lover with a nurturing side for his siblings. Benjamin not only lost his twin brother that day, the lack of oxygen he suffered resulted in permanent mental and speech impairments.
Justina, after more than 25 surgeries, is still working on rebuilding her family and her life. In recent years, she has become more aware of the lingering grief, anger, trauma and survivor guilt her other family members have been carrying around. Little by little, she sees that everyone is “getting ok.” They are in a new home and are currently getting estimates on installing home fire sprinklers. Justina is founder and executive director of The Amos House of Faith, a nonprofit organization that provides post burn support for children and families who have been affected by burn trauma.