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ESPN’s Hannah Storm will return to TV just weeks after gas grill accident

The Turnstile

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Hannah Storm. (Getty Images)

Just three weeks after a gas grill accident that burned off much of her hair and left her with second-degree burns, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm will return to the air on New Year's Day to host the 2013 Rose Parade.

Storm was preparing dinner at her home in Connecticut on Dec. 11 when she noticed the flame on her grill had gone out. When she turned off and reignited the gas, flame roared right into her face.

"It was like you see in a movie, it happened in a split-second," Storm told the AP. "A neighbor said he thought a tree had fallen through the roof, it was that loud. It blew the doors off the grill."

As the AP relates, Storm tore off her burning shirt and tried to extinguish the flames on her head and chest. Emergency response teams treated her at the house and transported her to the Trauma and Burn Center at Westchester Medical Center. In the accident, she lost her eyebrows, eyelashes, and about half her hair, and suffered second-degree burns on her chest and hands, and first-degree burns on her face and neck.

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"I didn't see my face until the next day and you wonder how it's going to look," she said. "I was pretty shocked. But my overarching thought was I've covered events with military members who have been through a lot worse than me, and they've come through. I kept thinking, 'I can do this. I'm fortunate.'"

Storm has hosted four previous Rose Parades, and looks forward to her fifth, though there will be some changes: she can't use her left hand to take notes, and needs assistance preparing herself for the camera. Down the line, she will return to her SportsCenter duties later this week, and plans to go to Miami to watch her Notre Dame Fighting Irish play Alabama in the National Championship game next Monday.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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