A GoFundMe page set up for a Michigan family who survived a house fire has raised more than $200,000 after news spread about a father who ran back inside the home to rescue his twin daughters, suffering severe burns.
Ray Lucas, his girlfriend Shi’ann Brown, both 23, and their 18-month-old twin daughters Milan and Malaysia, were living in a home in Eastpointe with Lucas’ mother and niece, but the house is no longer inhabitable after it was damaged by the blaze.
On July 16, the couple had only left the home for about 15 minutes to run to a gas station, but when they returned, the house was burning.
“The house was engulfed in smoke, I saw my mom and my niece were standing at the door and they were frantic,” Lucas told FOX2. Aware that his daughters were still in the basement of the home sleeping, Lucas rushed inside.
“I just knew I had to get my babies out,” he said. Inside the home, Lucas had trouble seeing because of the smoke, and said he was only able to get to his daughters because he knew where they were and how to navigate the home. “I just knew I had to get my babies out. That’s what went through my mind. … You really couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I really only found my babies due to my memory, just knowing where they were and knowing how to get to them.”
Malaysia and Milan both spent time in the ICU but are now back home. Malaysia suffered from smoke inhalation and second degree burns.
However, Lucas’ injuries were more severe. “I was temporarily blind for three days and they said it was a miracle I could see,” he said. “I’ve got burns on my arms, but for the most part, everyone is still here.” Lucas, who said his niece jumped from an upstairs window after going back inside to save a phone, is currently unable to work, and the family is facing extensive medical bills as a result of the fire.
By July 27, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $218,000 of a $40,000 goal.
The page also recounts Lucas’ actions. “This Heroic father and the baby’s mother returned home from running an errand to find their babies inside the burning house. Without hesitation the baby’s father ran into the engulfed burning house through flames and managed to save his twin daughters,” the page explains.
“This young Heroic father was severely burned while recusing and saving his twin babies life he sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face, eyes, neck arms and other parts of his body in additional to smoke inhalation.”
Some of those who donated left messages praising Lucas for his heroism.
“This young father’s courage and selfless act to save his precious twin baby girls is so worthy of our support and recognition! Prayers up for a speedy healing from the serious injuries,” one person wrote.
“This brother has showed true love for his baby girls. We can learn from this,” wrote another person who left a donation.
The family speculates that flooding issues that preceded the fire may have caused electrical problems resulting in the blaze.