Family of Haddon Heights explosion victim speaks

March 2, 2013 8:08:21 PM PST
The family of the woman critically injured in last Saturday's apartment explosion in Haddon Heights spoke out.

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A gas explosion ignited and flames tore the apartment building on White Horse Pike to shreds.

26-year-old Raquel Nunn was inside her apartment when it went up in flames.

"She has a long road of recovery ahead of her," said Claudia Nunn, victim's sister.

Family members say 50 percent of Raquel's body is burned and she's undergoing daily surgeries at Crozer Chester Medical Center.

"We're all in shock and overwhelmed by everything," said Claudia.

Relatives are however grateful that Raquel is alive and making progress, thanks in part to a complete stranger. "I would say she's like an angel," said Claudia. That angel is Jessica Pastoriza, a 20-year-old passerby who ran into the burning building to save Raquel's life.

"We are so grateful and you can't help but thinking what if she didn't stop her car and kept driving when she saw that happen," said Claudia Nunn, victim's sister.

Raquel's sisters, who both live out west, flew in with other family members to be by her side.

"We just have to pull together and make sure Raquel gets what she needs," said Gabriela Nunn.

Raquel's friends have already hosted benefits in her honor.

The Eastern High School graduate, who worked two jobs, has no medical insurance and lost all of her belongings in the blaze.

However the support she's received is priceless and crucial in her recovery.

"You can see it in her eyes. She's thankful and feels blessed to have such amazing friends, family and community," said Claudia.

Meanwhile her family says the one thing missing from Raquel's life is her beloved cat Leo.

Authorities believe the cat made it out alive but has yet to be found. Anyone who has seen the 5-year-old cat is asked to contact the Haddon Heights Police Department or the Haddon Heights Fire Department.

For more information or to donate to Raquel's recovery, visit Recovery for Raquel on Facebook or