Avila Anderson was standing in the living room of her Delaware apartment when she got a call that her mother's Marysville home was on fire and she was trapped inside.
"Honestly, I collapsed. I didn't want to believe it," Anderson, 20, said.
Marysville firefighters responded to the home, located at 712 W. Fifth St., shortly after 1 p.m. Jan. 17. That's when Anderson's mother, Jennifer Fuller, 38, had called 911 asking for help.
Firefighters found her unconscious inside the home and took her to Memorial Hospital of Union County to be treated for smoke inhalation.
"She had some cuts on her from being pulled out of the window, too," said Anderson.
Fuller (her maiden name; her legal last name is Pummell) was transferred Jan. 17 to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. As of Friday morning, Jan. 24, she was still in intensive care and on a ventilator.
"She has a very bad infection in her blood stream. She has pneumonia, too," Anderson said.
Doctors have kept her sedated, but Anderson got to communicate with her briefly on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
"She can't talk because of the ventilator. But she opened her eyes and looked at me before they put her back in sedation," Anderson said. "She shook her head yes that she remembered who I was."
Anderson described her mother as the kind of person who puts others before herself.
"She's always said that her kids are her greatest accomplishments. She would do anything for us or anyone else," Anderson said.
Anderson's 19-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister were not home at the time of the fire. Her brother is staying with their father and Anderson is caring for her sister.
"I'm setting her up a room at my place. But my grandparents have been helping," Anderson said. "I'm hanging in there. I kind of have to."
Anderson said she is not sure what could have started the fire, but that the house was older.
According to the Marysville Division of Fire, the fire destroyed the two-story house; no cost estimate has been made on the damage.
Marysville firefighters received mutual aid from Pleasant Valley, North Union and Allen, Liberty and Union townships as it took about an hour to contain the blaze.
The Marysville Fire Prevention Bureau and Marysville Division of Police are working with the Ohio State Fire Marshal's office to investigate the cause of the fire. That investigation is ongoing. Fire Chief Jay Riley told The Columbus Dispatch the fire is suspicious because it apparently spread rapidly.
For now, Anderson is taking care of her sister and wishing for her mom to get better.
"It's kind of hard not being able to talk her right now," Anderson said. "Honestly, she's my best friend."