Woman thankful to be alive after firefighters rescued from burning Phoenix apartment

Posted at 8:34 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 07:39:22-04

A Valley mom is recovering after suffering serious burn wounds attempting to rescue your 2-year-old daughter from a fire.

On Wednesday, Andrea Young decided it was time to speak out for the first time because she wanted to thank the firefighters who helped her through this difficult time.

"I want them to know that they are appreciated," Young said. "Even if it's just by a few."

She spoke through a tube in her throat; the smoke she inhaled that March morning, still making it hard to breath. There are bandages covering her body as the burns are all over her back, hands and legs.

But, despite the pain, she thinks there may have been a reason this tragedy happened to her.

"True colors were shown and they were bright," Young said. "They were shining."

Young asked us not show her face in the interview because her hair has been shaved from the burns and blaze.

"Sometimes I wonder if this needed to happen for us to be stronger," Young said.

Her strength was showing that early March morning the moment she woke-up to a fire. She was forced to take action quickly to save her two children.

"The couch behind me actually exploded when I tried to go through the front door," Young said.

Young said, she quickly threw her 5-year-old son James out the open window to safety. A neighbor was able to come and take care of him. But, the fire spread much quicker than she anticipated when she tried going back for her 2-year-old daughter, Yuna.

"The couch behind me actually exploded when I tried to go through the front door," Young said.

So, she started breaking windows and attempted to climb back into the apartment while it was full of flames.

"Somebody actually had to pull me back," Young recalled.

That somebody ended up being Phoenix firefighter Billy Pierce, who burst inside the fully engulfed unit and grabbed little Yuna.

"I honestly don't know if there's anything I could ever do to thank them enough," Young said through her tears. "They saved my baby."

Now, the mother and daughter had a very long recovery - that is still happening now.

They have had weeks of surgeries and skin grafting at the Arizona Burn Center. Yuna was able to go home a few weeks ago with bandages and regular check-ups.

Young as just moved to the Abrazo Central Campus hospital near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road where she is now beginning rehabilitation.

But, in two weeks - she will be home with her daughter to be 'mom' again, instead of a patient.

"I just want to get back to them," Young said. "I want to get back to normality."

The family did create a GoFundMe account to help deal with the medical expenses. If you would like to help, click here.