The woman suffered second-and-third-degree burns to more than 60% of her body after repeatedly running into the inferno to rescue her children.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 18, 2021. It has since been updated.
A single mother from Michigan is recovering from severe burns over most of her body after running into her burning home to rescue her four children. Chelsea firefighters Lt. Derek Klink and Captain Scott Basar told Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV that the woman named Mikala Vish repeatedly ran into the inferno to save her kids — ages 12, 6, 4 and 9 months — when their home caught on fire in the early hours of October 26, 2021. Calling it "the most heroic thing" he's ever seen, Lt. Klink said: "Sometimes, people call us heroes. And in this instance, in no way were we the hero. Mikala deserves all the credit."
Speaking to Michigan Live, Capt. Basar said that Vish "is an absolute hero for how she saved all her children." The heroic woman's mom, Susan Sutton, told WJBK that her daughter suffered second and third-degree burns to over 60% of her body. "She was burnt over 60% of her body and she has both 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree burns," Sutton said. "I would expect no less from her. She has always been a spitfire, she is extremely determined. It didn't surprise me at all. As I understand, it was an inferno and she just braced herself for it until she found [her 6-year-old son]."
"She has many tubes in her, she can't talk. She is wrapped up like a mummy," Sutton added. The 6-year-old also received bad burns to his hands and arms, according to a Facebook post by Chelsea Fire Fighters. Mikala and her son will have to undergo skin graft surgeries and Sutton said her daughter could be in the hospital for eight months. "She is a woman of great faith and prayer and I think that along with her very spitfire personality is what's getting her through and it gives me the courage to know this is going to work," she added.
Brynna Klink, the lieutenant's wife, set up a GoFundMe campaign set up in support of the family after hearing about Mikala's bravery. "Every mom thinks they would do that, but they don't have to. It's never actually a real thing," said Brynna, who says she has children around the same age. "This mom risked her life for her children and she lost everything." In the GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Mikala and her children, Brynna wrote: "My name is Brynna, and I am married to a firefighter in our small town of Chelsea. Last night, they responded to a house fire that involved a mother and her young children. It definitely hit him harder than usual, as the children are all around the ages of our kids."
"The mother, Mikala, has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 60% of her body, and her 6-year-old son also suffered burns on his hands, feet, and back. I have never met the family, but after receiving approval from Mikala’s mother, we knew we wanted to help in any way possible. We are teaming up with Chelsea Area Fire Authority Local 1889 to support them as much as we can," she continued. "Please help to provide some relief to Mikala, and her four beautiful children, as she recovers from injuries she suffered in the fire. These donations will be used to help support the children, who are being taken care of long-term, by Mikala’s family. Mikala has a long stay in the hospital ahead of her, but the donations will also go towards helping her start over once she is released." As of November 5, over $247k has been raised for the family.