‘The support for her has been unbelievable’: Woman burned in Roanoke County fire pit accident receives more than $15,000 in donations

Jess Perkins suffered second- and third-degree burns

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Jess Perkins is the life of the party who has no trouble making friends says her sister Lindsay Brown.

“She is just magnetic. She always has been," Brown said. "She collects friends through every stage of life.”

Her wide network of friends came to her aid with GoFundMe donations after a devastating accident this weekend.

“She simply stumbled and lost her balance and fell face first into the fire pit,” Brown said.

Perkins suffered second- and third-degree burns in the accident.

“The support for her has been unbelievable,” Brown said. “She’ll drop whatever she’s doing to be a good friend, and now people are ready to pay that back.”

The GoFundMe for her recovery raised more than $15,000 in less than a day.

The accident happened Saturday night in Roanoke County.

Perkins, who moved from Roanoke County to Nashville four years ago, was back in town to attend a funeral.

Tyler Moore, the brother of the person who died, likely saved Perkins’ life after she fell into the fire.

“I saw her feet go in the air, and she was face first down in the embers," Moore said. "I just grabbed her as quickly as I could, and everything was a blur at that point.”

Perkins is recovering at the VCU Health Burn Center in Richmond. Brown said no family members are allowed to visit her because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“That’s hard for everyone," Brown said. "To not be able to hold her hand, or to look her in the eye and say, ‘We’re going to get through this.’”

Brown made the GoFundMe as a way to help her sister from a distance. She said the money will not just go towards medical bills, but to whatever bills Perkins needs to pay for, including rent and utilities.

“She’s in the restaurant industry," Brown said. "She’s already been out of work for about 8 weeks and her savings are depleted.”

Brown said Perkins’ recovery could take a year.

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