Car explosion victim inspires others - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Car explosion victim inspires others

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Generous Mid-Southerners want to help a woman who survived a car explosion that severely burned her.

Monique Pruitt-Hicks' was badly injured after she lit a cigarette in her car Thursday. The fumes from cleaning products on her clothes ignited, sparking an explosion that left her injured.

"It really opened my eyes up to where I need to get my life together, because I don't think I'm doing something right," she said in an interview Sunday.
With those words, Pruitt-Hicks became such an inspiration to some members of the Memphis community.

"Only she knows what changes she needs to make, but it really touched me in my heart that she took full responsibility," David Lucius said Monday. "A lot of times in today's world people want to blame everybody else."

For Pruitt-Hicks, the incident started after she went to the Murray Building Thursday to remove some boxes from a recent cleaning job.  When she noticed some spots she missed, she spilled some flammable cleaning fluids on her clothes as she cleaned.

Later, as she sat in her car in the building's parking lot, she attempted to light a cigarette, sparking the explosion that left her face, arm, and hands with severe burns.

"If I wouldn't have lit that cigarette, I think I'd still have my car and I'd be sitting her with a clear face.  So, that's my fault," she said.

Action News 5 viewers were inspired by Pruitt-Hicks' attitude.

Judy Hays emailed saying, "her positive attitude is very inspirational."

David and Kerry Wright asked, "Could you all help with setting up a way where she can receive donations?"

Then came David Lucius, who wrote, "Please allow me to be a part helping this young lady."  Then, he set up a fund for Pruitt-Hicks at Suntrust Bank.

Since her interview Sunday, doctors had to scrub the burnt skin from Pruitt-Hicks' face to prevent infection, leaving her in too much pain to respond to the community's outpouring.
"She has some immediate needs financially I'm sure, and she also has some other issues that she alluded to in the last story," Lucius said. "She said that she had to change her life, and I'd like to talk to her about that as well."

Lucius said he feels it's our duty as people to help those who are trying to do the best they can.

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