A bride was forced to call off her wedding after she was engulfed in flames and ‘melted’ across the face when she tried to carry a burning frying pan out of her home, just six days before she was due to walk down the aisle.
Brenley Davis, 22, had just sat down to dinner with her future husband Justin Davis, 25, on August 31, 2020 when she saw the room fill with smoke.
The former Marine Corps Reserve from Jacksonville, North Carolina, jumped out of his seat to discover he had accidentally left the stove on for an hour, causing a pan of oil to overheat and smolder.
As Brenley quickly turned off the heat ring, Marine Justin opened the doors and windows.
Brenley Davis, 22, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, sat down to dinner with her soon-to-be husband when a frying pan caught fire six days before their wedding.
But outside air blew through the kitchen and ‘fed’ the oil, causing it to ‘burst into 30-inch flames.’
As her adrenaline kicked in, a terrified Brenley ran to the burning pan and grabbed it with her bare hands before running off to throw it away.
But the flames blew against his body, and Brenley suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, arms, ribs, chest, legs, and feet.
After having to endure months of agonizing treatment and surgery, Brenley was finally able to tie the knot in November 2020, her scars on full display.
Since then, Brenley has trained as a nurse, where she hopes to help other burn survivors.
He now advises families to be vigilant while cooking this Christmas and to keep a fire extinguisher handy, as he believes safety measures could have prevented his burns.
After initially feeling self-conscious, Brenley proudly displayed her scars on her wedding day.
Brenley suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, arms, ribs, chest, legs, and feet.
Brenley had to endure months of agonizing treatment and surgery. She said: ‘I felt like my whole face had melted. She was so scared.’
Brenley said: ‘I felt like my whole face had melted. She was so scared.
‘I was making French fries. I thought she had turned off the oil, but she had been on the stove for an hour on medium to high heat.
“The next thing I knew, it started to smoke. I took the lid off, turned it off, and pushed the pot off the heat.
“We opened the windows and the back door and I guess the air that came in from opening the windows fed it.
“It automatically caught fire and the flames were so high it was burning the cabinets.
‘My husband called the fire department and he was standing outside in the backyard. He was standing there watching it burn and the next thing he knew my adrenaline kicked in.
Brenley and Justin had to postpone their wedding until November 2020 when Brenley underwent surgery.
Brenley’s hands were badly burned after grabbing a pot that had 30-inch flames shooting out of it. She said the shock numbed her pain, but her wounds became swollen and blistered.
She underwent a series of painful procedures, including having each of her blisters drained before undergoing skin graft surgery (pictured in hospital shortly after skin graft surgery)
‘I grabbed the pot and ran with it. I still don’t know what possessed me to grab a pot with 30 inch flames shooting out of it.
The flames were so high that they burned my face, arms, ribs, and chest. Once I got out and dumped the pot, the fire [blew] back on my leg.
The flames were still burning and I ran through them. Then it came to the bottom of my feet.
At first, Brenley says the shock nearly numbed her pain, but after she was rushed to hospital and admitted to a trauma unit, her wounds began to develop into extreme swelling and blistering.
Brenley added: “When my mom saw how much pain I was in, she wanted to kiss me but couldn’t. She took her nose and rubbed it gently against mine, but my skin fell away from her.
“I couldn’t feed myself, I couldn’t use the bathroom, and I could barely walk. Justin took care of me. He was keeping the vows from him even before he had said them.
He had to do everything for me.
Brenley then underwent a series of painful procedures, including draining each of her blisters before undergoing skin graft surgery for her second- and third-degree burns.
Damage to Brenley’s kitchen after hot oil caught fire after cooking French fries
Brenley pictured still in recovery two years after she burned herself with cooking oil at her home
While in recovery, her body ‘scabbed’ and became extremely itchy, which later led to her having to remove the scabs with her bandages.
She then had to undergo agonizing physical therapy for months to get her arms to move and her skin to stretch.
Brenley said: ‘My skin was very red and still blistered, but the worst part overall was my mental health.
‘This has changed me. It has made me stronger. I had PTSD and dreamed that I was set on fire and the house burned down again.
“I had to keep reminding myself that I’m here for a reason, I’ve survived, and I can use this positively.”
After being released from the hospital and taking time to recover, Brenley booked her wedding for November 2020, less than three months after her ordeal.
Brenley said: “It was a wonderful wedding even though [previously had] cancel everything six days before. It was a beautiful wedding.
Brenley was able to get married in November 2020, just three months after the incident occurred on August 31, 2020.
‘In my wedding photos you can still see the bumps from the skin grafts.
“I was a little self-conscious and a part of me was going to ask the photographer to blend my red skin grafts, but then my mom said ‘you’re beautiful no matter what.’
I accepted it and told myself not to be shy.
Now I have a slight scar and if I look at my arms I can see the skin grafts.
“Sometimes people ask me if I lost a lot of weight because my arms seem to have stretch marks.”
Now, Brenley is urging families to stay safe over the Christmas period and avoid the need to “rush” as stress can lead to devastating mistakes.
Brenley said: “For people cooking at Christmas, it’s very easy to forget about the things that go on on the stove.”
‘It happened to me. She was trying to bake a cake, cook, and make the fries all at the same time. I totally forgot about fat.
‘Try not to stress or rush. If you are stressed, you make mistakes. Do your research and have fire extinguishers.