CHONGQING - A 14-year-old girl may need to have both hands amputated after suffering nearly 80 per cent burns.
Guo Jiajia had dashed into her burning house in south-western China to look for her father on Saturday.
Her father, Mr Guo Hongyong, had already fled the apartment in Chongqing's Shapingba district, went back in to look for her.
Jiajia was later found unconscious on the floor with her clothes and fingers badly burnt.
Her mother, Ms Lai Rongqing, told Chinese news site Southcn.com yesterday that at about 3am on Saturday, the lights and electrical appliances in their living room started exploding.
Ms Lai immediately woke her mother, husband and daughter and asked them to flee, while she ran downstairs to turn off the electrical and gas mains.
She told Southcn.com that the living room was already ablaze by then.
"When I left, my husband was putting on his pants, my daughter and mother had already woken up.
"My daughter's room was nearest to the main door," she said.
The mother said she saw her daughter at the main door, but could not find her after alerting her neighbours.
As the neighbours rushed to put out the fire, Ms Lai continued searching for her daughter.
She spotted Jiajia lying on the floor by a liquor cabinet facing a bedroom.
Her husband dashed in to save their daughter.
Said Mr Guo: "The smoke was too dense, I couldn't see anything, and could only feel my way around on the floor."
He soon started choking, and suffered burns to both his hands and head, but managed to rescue his daughter on a second attempt.
Jiajia's clothes were almost completely burnt, and her fingers were burnt black.
She regained consciousness only when her mother splashed water on her.
Ms Lai asked: "You had already come out, why did you go back in?"
Jiajia said: "I went in to look for dad, but I didn't find him."
Mr Guo was injured in a traffic accident in 2010 that has left him with limited mobility.
Firefighters arrived shortly after and put out the blaze.
The authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. Jiajia's doctor said the teenager suffered burns to 79 per cent of her body.
"There is a high chance that her hands have to be amputated.
"She would also need to undergo more operations in time, and the entire treatment is likely to cost more than one million yuan (S$207,000)," Dr Zhang Xiaohong said.
Donations from the public have started pouring in, and more than 205,000 yuan had been collected by yesterday morning.
This article was first published on Dec 6, 2016.
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