Texas State student recovering after grease fire accident

A Texas State University student is recovering at Dell Seton Medical Center after a grease fire over the weekend.

Shea Vandeman, 22, has second and third degree burns on her face and chest from a cooking accident on Saturday. 

Her uncle, Paul Vandeman, says a pot of oil overheated and caught on fire, then it spread to her. 

"Shea, knowing what to do, grabbed the closest thing to her to try to extinguish the flame. In doing so, the pot tipped over, and the hot oil splashed onto her chest," he said. "She dropped and rolled, which is great, she was able to extinguish the flames. I think that really helped minimize the damage that the burn did."

Shea will be in the hospital for at least a week, possibly longer, depending on if she needs surgery. 

"She's had good days and bad days," Paul said. 

He says for Shea and her family, "it's been very traumatic."

Shea is supposed to graduate in December and wants to be a teacher. 

"She's been on the Dean's List every semester. She's graduating summa cum laude. She had this amazing kind of future very close. Then this happened, and we know that these types of things can really create a financial burden for people and for families. My biggest focus here, other than being emotional support, is also trying to figure out how do we help her and mitigate this from becoming a financial burden for her," Paul said. 

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Paul has started a GoFundMe for her recovery journey. 

He says she wants to use her experience as a teaching moment.

"She wants people to understand the dangers of grease fires," Paul said. 

The Austin Fire Department says grease fires are common. 

"The first thing to do is if you can get close enough to the stove safely, turn the power off," Division Chief Mark Bridges said. "The best thing to do is put a lid on it. You can put a cookie sheet on it. You can put something on it to take away the oxygen... if it spreads to the person, absolutely, stop, drop and roll."

"She knew exactly what to do. She learned you extinguish the grease fire. You don't throw water on it.  She learned that when you're on fire, you drop, and you roll. She did everything right. Grease fires are so dangerous, and they're also really, really dangerous burns on the body," Paul said. 

Click here for the GoFundMe.