“If I birthed 6 kids, I’m gonna get 6 kids out”. Super-Mom Emma Schols saved all of her 6 kids from their burning home, running room to room, floor to floor. Even tho she was bleeding and losing skin, hair burnt like coal, she kept going. Emma got 93% burn injuries, yet still survived.
It was in September 2019 that the worst possible thing happened. Mother of six Emma Schols, 31, slept alone at home with the children. Suddenly she heard a fire in the downstairs of the villa, where two of her younger sons were.
They had just woken up and gone down, so I rushed after. Then I would not have understood how bad it would be. My only thought was that I had to get the boys who had taken shelter in the playroom out, says Emma Schols.
Just as she began to open the front door, the fire got oxygen. It was an explosion.
I threw myself like a shield over the boys so that they would not be injured. When the flames hit me, it was as if my whole back was on fire. But I kept going. I threw the boys out the front door and locked them so they wouldn’t come in again. They were terrified.
Emma shouted at the children upstairs to get out on the balcony.
Then there was fire in the whole staircase. For each step I thought that “this is not possible” but then I thought that it must go for four of my children are still up there. It is so hot that the soles of the feet start to drop from the feet. They just hang like threads.
Daughter Nellie, 9, had jumped from upstairs to run to a neighbor and get help. The eldest son William, 11, tried to lower a ladder so that those who remained could climb out.
The boys got a shock when I came out on the balcony. I was bleeding and had open burns all over my body. The skin on his chest had begun to roll away and his hair was just like a piece of charcoal on his head.
“Thought I might die now”
Emma realized that her youngest daughter Mollie, 1 year old, was not out on the balcony.
I thought that if she’s still in there then she’s probably not alive anymore but I have to try to get her out.
The sons on the balcony tried to stop Emma from entering the fire inferno again. But she had made up her mind and managed to pull herself along the floor into the bedroom.
It was so thick smoke and so hard to breathe. I was so terribly tired but could see through the smoke how Mollie was standing there in her crib crying and was terrified. Then I suddenly got such an enormous force and managed to get to my feet and lift her up.
“I only had my own body, no blanket, no protection, only myself and my mother’s heart,” says Emma Schols.
On the balcony, hers son William had the ladder in place.
When I went down the steps with Mollie, it was as if my feet stuck to each step. I was just bleeding.
At the last step, Emma collapsed.
Then it was as if all the pain came at once. It hurt so terribly. I had taken all the children out and thought that now I could die.
“Are the children alive?”
But before the ambulance arrived and Emma was sedated, she promised her eldest son William, who was the last child to leave her side, to return home soon. A promise that became a mantra during the time in the hospital.
The six children survived without any injuries at all. Emma was on a respirator for three weeks, hovering between life and death. It is uncommon for people to survive even 90% of burns. Emma’s body was burnt to 93 percent.
The first thing I thought when I woke up was: “Are the children alive”?
The fire and what we have been through has left traces all over my body, and has affected the whole family. But what we have been through has also brought us closer. Today I take nothing for granted and am grateful for every day we have together.