DENTON, NC-- Jeanette Mack Schneider was trying to burn old pampas grass outside her home when her clothes caught fire. She died trying to put out the fire.
One month after Jeanette's tragic death, her daughter is using the family's heartbreak to share an important fire lesson.
Barbara Simpson said her mother had heard that burning the pampas grass prior to spring would make it come back prettier. She attempted this alone. After her clothes caught on fire she tried to put it out with buckets of water from her house. Jeanette did not have a hose set up.
WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford spoke to NC Forest Service Ranger Patrick Raynor. Raynor said it was a windy day and the humidity was low. It was not a good day to burn grass. He also noted that it's never good to burn anything alone. He advises having someone else there, burn small piles, and have water hoses nearby. You also need all proper burning permits beforehand.
Now Barbara is determined to get her mother's story out there. She wants people to learn from her family's tragedy. Barbara believes it's important for elderly people to understand how dangerous fires can be, especially for those who live alone.