The third-degree burns that he sustained to 70% of his body during a caravan fire left a man speechless. He said it changed his life.

Reece Chesterman (aged 30), was homeless. Before the fire, he had been begging and using drugs.

He had to have multiple surgeries in order to recover his vision and the majority of the skin from his back.

Reece said he could not be happier as it was the beginning of his adulthood. He has gotten clean and found a woman to love him.

Reece Chesterfield, 30, from Yeovil, Somerset, reconnected with his girlfriend, Charley, after moving back to his hometown. A recent picture of Reece with his partner Charley on a day out

Reece Chesterfield (age 30, of Yeovil in Somerset) reconnected after moving back to Somerset with Charley. Reece Chesterfield and Charley, his partner on a recent day-out photo

Reece's 3rd degree burns, including his eyelids which were so damaged in the blaze that he couldn't close his eyes.

Reece’s 3rd degree burns, including his eyelids which were so damaged in the blaze that he couldn’t close his eyes.

The aftermath of the caravan fire. Reece is still unaware of what caused the fire and no charges have been filed

Aftermath of the caravan fire. Reece still has no idea what started the caravan fire, and there have not been any charges.

The man is sure that, if the fire hadn’t sparked on March 9, 2019, he would still be alive.

Reece stated, “It may seem strange to say it but it was most likely the best thing that happened to me because I’ve turned my life around for the better.”

Now he is sober, he lives with Charley and says that she has lifted him up in ways he never thought possible.

Reece does not recall the incident, however witnesses claimed that they heard Reece groaning as the fire raged.

Reece and his girlfriend love to go to the beach, but Reece has to smother his skin in factor 50 suncream and sit in the shade. Pictured recently

Reece loves to take his girlfriend to the beach. However, Reece must apply factor 50 sunscreen to his skin and then sit under the shade. Recent photo

The fire brigade spent 20 minutes hosing Reece's body down when they arrived at the blaze in Bristol, fearing he wouldn't make it. Pictured: His burns in the hospital

Reece was feared to have died so the fire brigade took 20 minutes to hose him down at Bristol’s blaze. Photographed: Reece’s burns at the hospital

Reece doesn't remember the fire but he does remember vivid dreams of being in the hospital while he was recovering

Doctors informed him that he should have died in the blaze and that he was a miracle

Reece sustained burns to 70% of his body. The bandage adjustments were unbearably painless, according to Reece. 

The skin of his back was so severe that he could not move as he was being pulled.

Reece was feared to have died so the fire brigade took 20 minutes to wash his body.

Reece only remembers vivid dreams in which nurses stole his gold, and being woken up periodically at the intensive burns unit by estranged relatives.

He recalled that he could see the distress in their faces because of how upset they were.

Reece suffered third degree burns and admitted that adjusting to his new face was hard to come to terms with

Reece was left with third-degree burns. He admitted it was difficult to adjust to the new look.

Reece's caravan after the fire, he was sleeping when the blaze engulfed him and his moving home

Reece’s caravan following the fire. He was still asleep when the flames engulfed his home and his caravan.

Reece spent four months in the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery in Swansea, undergoing skin grafts and surgery. Pictured as he is now

Reece was treated at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, Swansea for four months. He also underwent skin grafts and other surgeries. Here he is as it looks now

“I should not have survived.” Doctors called me a miracle.

Reece spent 4 months in Swansea’s Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, where he underwent surgery and skin grafts. But, Reece claims that the most painful experience was bandage changing.

He said that the “Bandage Change” was the worst thing he’d ever experienced in his life.

“It was anguish. They were constantly peeling my skin.

Reece's caravan after the fire. Witnesses have said they heard groaning in the blaze, prompting one passerby to pull the door off and drag him out

Reece’s caravan following the fire. Witnesses claimed that Reece’s caravan was ablaze after he groaned. A passerby saw the scene and pulled down the door to drag him out.

Reece's caravan before the blaze. He is convinced if the fire hadn't taken hold that day in March 2019, he would be dead by now

Reece before the blaze. He is convinced if the fire hadn’t taken hold that day in March 2019, he would be dead by now

Reece is now bald as a result of his third degree burns and has accepted it, but will be ge6tting surgery to reconstruct his eyebrows

Reece, who is now bald due to third-degree burns, has accepted the fact that he will need surgery to rebuild his eyebrows.

Reece was required to change his bandages every day. Reece begged his nurses to make it happen during surgery to avoid the trauma.

The fire had caused his eyelids to melt, so he was unable to see properly. He needed to close his eyes and roll them to the back to go to bed.

Because of this, his vision has been permanently impaired.

Reece’s skin was taken from the neck and doctors made new eyelids.

Reece admitted that his first glance in the mirror following the fire was an overwhelming shock, but he tried not to dwell on the fact that it was good to be alive.

Reece with a friend when he was homeless. His now-girlfriend Charley used to give him money when he lived on the streets

Reece and a friend, when he was homeless. Charley was his girlfriend at the time. She used to send him money as he lived rough on the streets.

Reece with fresh wounds. The long-term effects of his burns are pain walking, thick scars that turn purple in the winter due to lack of circulation and poor eyesight

Reece described his hospital treatments as feeling like his skin was being peeled away from his body

Reece described the feeling of being ripped from his body by his hospital visits. Left: Reece’s scalp, after the fire. 

Long-term consequences of the burns include difficulty walking and scarring that turns purple due to poor vision.

Reece, a 21-year-old friend, returned home to his hometown to reunite with Charley. Charley was his best friend, who would often check in on Reece to give him money and keep him safe when he was struggling.

Reece and Charley have been inseparable since December 2012, as their 2-year anniversary is near.

“I don’t think I will ever have a girlfriend because I am so burned out,” he stated.

Reece thought no one would love him after being burned until he found his current girlfriend. Reece's 3rd degree burns after being in the hospital

After being burnt, Reece believed no one would ever love him until he met his current girlfriend. Reece’s 3rd degree burns after being in the hospital

What to do in the event of a fire? 

1. Keep Calm

2. Alert everyoneInside the home

3. Pre-planned The escape routeGet everyone out of your home as soon as you can. Gather possessions quickly. It is important to move quickly.

4. Do it! Close all windows and doors when evacuating (only open them to escape) – if possible close the door to the room where the fire is located and close all doors behind you – this will delay the spread of fire

5. Never use a lift

6. Smoke can be a problem if there’s a lot.Stay close to the ground – smoke rises so the lower air is cleaner and easier to breathe

7. You can contact us if you have any questions about the location of the fire. check doorknobsYou can hold the fire in one hand and then open it with your other.

8. Calling 999

  • After you have been outside, and are safe to do so, dial 999
  • Include your address details and whereabouts.
  • The details of the burning building
  • Information about anyone who is still in the area and whereabouts (if any)

9. Don’t go back into the building. Wait for the FRS to arrive. If you go back in the building, it may hinder FRS attempts to put out flames. This could also put your life in danger.

 Source: Fire Angel 


“But she treated me as if I were completely normal, and that was because she loved me. She loved my scars and didn’t care about them.

‘She’s made me feel normal. Although I was anxious to venture out, she helped me feel confident and allowed me to return home.

“Now, we are capable of doing anything. I don’t care what people think.”

Reece and the couple enjoy going to the beach together, however Reece must apply factor 50 sunscreen to his skin before he can sit down in the shade.

Reece explained that he now accepts being bald because he lost his hair in the fire, but is having new eyebrows made through a burns charity.

It was investigated, but there was no cause and no one was ever arrested.