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Erin Mounsey

Faces of Fire

Erin Mounsey has endured more than 40 surgeries after being burned in a home fire.

"You can never be too prepared or too safe — a momentary safety lapse can have tragic results. I’ve seen amazing results of what sprinklers can do and would like to think they would have made a difference in my situation.”

Name: Erin Mounsey
Date of fire: October 26, 1999
Age at  time of fire: 26
Location: Durango, Colorado
Injury: Burns over 86% of his body.
Severely burned after a pilot light ignited the floor-finishing chemical he was using.
Download Erin's Faces of Fire story (PDF)

Erin MounseyWhile refinishing the wood floors in a home in Durango, Colorado, something went terribly wrong for Erin Mounsey. As he was finishing up, the chemical fumes ignited from a pilot light located in the basement. Instantly the whole room was ablaze. Erin managed to get out of the house within a minute, but was severely burned.

After spending two months in a medically induced coma, Erin began a long road to recovery that would lead him places he could never have imagined. Beating the 10% chance of survival he was given, and following seven months in the hospital and two months at a rehabilitation facility, it finally seemed that Erin had beaten the odds. It’s taken more than 40 surgeries to help Erin heal and reconstruct his badly damaged skin, but his psychological injuries took longer to heal.

After some trouble with the law and dealing with his post-traumatic stress disorder, he was finally able to discover love and healing again through a chance meeting at the World Burn Congress in 2005. The burn survivor he met, who is now his wife, has helped him come to terms with the abilities he lost. But more importantly, his wife has helped him see the things he can still do and find a new sense of purpose and value.