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The Glass Castle

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  • October 26, 2012
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To: Ms. Rodriguez
From: Charissa Roemmich
Date: October 15, 2012
Re: Glass Castle Incident Report

Fire Incident of Jeannette Walls

Summary
On May 17th, 1963, Jeannette Walls’ dress catches fire in her trailer kitchen while cooking hot dogs. Mrs. Walls puts the fire out with an army surplus blanket and their neighbor drives them to the hospital. The damage was severe but the doctors were able to do a skin graft on the badly burned parts of Jeannette’s body. The report was filed in the permanent records of the hospital.

Description
On May 17th, 1963, Mrs. Walls was in the room across from the kitchen working on one of her paintings while Jeannette was in the kitchen cooking hot dogs. At 11:55 a.m., Jeannette screamed and shrieked saying “Mommy, help me!” Her mom runs into the room, staring at her daughter swatting at the flames with a fork. Her mom runs out of the room and comes back with a wool blanket, throwing it around Jeannette to smoother the flames. Her mother then went to the trailer next to theirs and asked if they could have a ride to the hospital. The woman stopped what she was doing and ran to her car. [9-10]

When they got to the hospital, the nurses set Jeannette on a stretcher and then put her on a metal bed piled with ice cubes. The doctor led her mother out of the room telling her that Jeannette was in serious condition. They doctors took skin patches of her upper thigh and put them over her worst burned parts of her stomach, ribs, and chest. Finally, they bandaged her entire right side. Every few days, they would change the old bandages for new ones. [10-11]

Jeannette returned to her normal activities after they brought her home and she continued to cook hot dogs after she was healed enough to do so. Mr. and Mrs. Walls told Jeannette she couldn’t live in fear of something as basic as fire. [15]

Outcome
Jeannette’s burns eventually healed but her skin will have scars the rest of her life. Incident reports were filed in the...