AJ Pritchard’s girlfriend Abbie Quinnen has said trolls told her she would scare children after she suffered second and third-degree burns in a freak accident.
The couple were attempting to recreate a viral video when her hair and clothes caught on fire.
The former Strictly Come Dancing star told BBC Radio 2: “Unfortunately it went horribly wrong very quickly. Flames shot across the room towards Abbie, which caught her hair, which then caught her clothes which very quickly went up in flames.”
Model and dancer Quinnen added: “I was always quite far away as well, I was at least like four metres away from AJ, so it did shoot across the room and my first instinct was how can I save myself here? How can I get myself out of this situation?
“So I just dropped to the floor and was trying to roll, unfortunately that didn’t work, I was screaming ‘AJ help’.
“It was a lot of my hair that has been burned, my face, my underarms, my chest, both sides my chest.”
Quinnen was burned so badly she required three skin grafts and said she was terrified to look at herself in the mirror.
She said: “I couldn’t see out my right eye. I would catch myself in the reflection of my phone and just seeing that was so hard to take in.
“To me, I kind of looked like an ogre. I know that sounds terrible, but I really didn’t recognise myself.”
She added that eventually a therapist made her look at herself in a mirror and she continued: “I think that was one of the worst times I’ve ever had, because I just saw myself and I looked like a completely different person.
“And I just remembered not really being able to say words, I was just wailing and crying. So it was a really, really tough experience.”
Quinnen said she has taken comfort from sharing experiences with other people online but has been the victim of some cruel comments.
She added: “Most of the outcome has been so much love and I’m so grateful to every single person that has put a message on my page or sent me private messages or liked my photos.
“But there has been a couple of people that do say the odd thing that does kind of hurt.
“I spend a lot of time with my niece and nephew, and they told me not to be around kids because I would scare them because of the way that I looked from my scars now.
“And another one was that I now look like a waxwork model, which really quite hurt.”
However, Pritchard said the couple are trying to focus on the positive.
He said: “We are very positive people… the positive definitely far outweighs the negative and for us it is about recovery and helping other people heal.
“It’s always been focused on the positives even though that one negative always sits in the back of the brain.”