Conway area woman trying to rebuild life after suffering third-degree burns, losing home in fire

For the first time since the fire, Jessica Johnson’s daughter hugged her.

It was Wednesday, Chazidy Johnson’s fifth birthday and the morning of her mother’s latest surgery.

“She’s coming around a little bit,” Jessica Johnson said by phone as she rode to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., with her aunt.

Chazidy had been uneasy around her mother since she saw her screaming in pain on the night of Jan. 10. That evening, a pot of grease exploded as Jessica Johnson rushed to move it outside. Flames clung to the 28-year-old’s body. Her two children, who were just returning from a visit with her sister, arrived at their Conway area home just after the fire ignited. The blaze destroyed the doublewide the single mother shared with them.