A Texas family who lost their sense of smell because they have coronavirus nearly died when a fire engulfed their house and they couldn’t smell the smoke.
The only family member who didn’t have the virus was 17-year-old Bianca Rivera. When the teenager smelled smoke in their home in Waco early Friday, she quickly evacuated her three family members and their four dogs.
“I don’t really count myself as a hero,” Bianca told CNN affiliate KWTX. “I just did what anyone else would do for their own family. I just wanted to get everyone out safe and alive.”
The fire broke out around 2 a.m. in the one-story house, which was a total loss, KWTX reported.
“This family is lucky to be alive,” the Waco Fire Department tweeted. “@WacoTXFire would like to remind everyone to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home.”
Bianca said she first woke up her family and helped get everyone out through the back door.
“I started smelling burnt plastic. That’s when I got more alert and I ran outside of my room,” Bianca said. “I couldn’t even pass the hallway because it was filled with so much smoke.”
She then went back into the burning house to rescue the family pets.
“Honestly it was just me protecting my family and getting them to (safety). It didn’t matter to me if I was going to get hurt or I was going to get burned as long as I got them out safe and sound, I was going to be fine,” she added.
One of the most common symptoms of Covid-19 is a loss of smell or taste.
Some 86% of people with mild cases of Covid-19 lose their sense of smell and taste but recover it within six months, according to a study, published this month, of more than 2,500 patients from 18 European hospitals.