Like many 12-year-old girls, Linda Rogers often liked to film her hair and beauty routine as she got ready for big events.
Last February it was no different, with the primary school student excitedly videoing herself preparing for a big cheerleading competition.
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“Good morning, guys. It is 6.02am. I’m going to get ready for … National Cheerleaders Association today,” she says in the clip.
“I’m gonna start with hair,” she whispers, explaining she must “turn on my lamp because I don’t want to turn on all of the lights”.
“I’m sorry if you guys can’t hear me still. But oh well, they’re all sleeping.”
Tragically, it was the last thing she ever did.
Less than two minutes into what should have been routine footage, the screen is briefly lit up by orange sparks before suddenly going dark.
The family’s Dallas, Texas home had just exploded thanks to a natural gas leak, seriously injuring Linda’s mother, father, brother and grandmother, who were all asleep at the time, and fatally wounding the young girl.
She was found by her terrified and seriously-injured parents, Maria Rogers and Jose Fiscal, who dragged her out from underneath a cupboard in the wake of the blast.
Ms Rogers told the Dallas Morning News she remembered kissing her wounded daughter — who was still wearing her cheerleading outfit — before urging her in Spanish to “fight like a warrior”.
“I’m very sure Michellita listened to me,” she told reporters.
The young girl was rushed to hospital but lost her fight for survival shortly afterwards at 7.36am.
Her grieving family found her miraculously-intact iPhone in the rubble of their home, and now, almost a year after her tragic death, they have released the heartbreaking footage it contained to the Dallas Morning News.
The rest of the family, who survived as they were further away from the point of explosion and protected by internal walls, now plan to sue Atmos Energy, the company responsible for the gas pipeline that exploded last year.
The family wants $US1 million ($A1,389,00) in damages from the firm, which has denied neglecting the family’s neighbourhood, according to the Dallas Morning News.
However, crews had been in the area on three separate occasions in the week before the blast, and two other nearby homes had caught fire during the two days prior.
A formal National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the tragedy is still ongoing, however, in a preliminary report filed last year, the body claimed Atmos realised there was a gas leak in the area on January 1, 2018, nearly two months before the blast that claimed Linda Rogers’ life.
Her father, Jose Fiscal, previously owned a roofing contracting business but has not been able to return to work since the explosion.
His wife told the Dallas Morning News the horror was never-ending.
“Some days, I don’t feel the damage in my body. I feel the pain in my heart,” she said.
Both parents still suffer from physical injuries caused that day, as well as significant emotional trauma.
The explosion was so strong it knocked the family home off its foundation and caused the roof to collapse.
Ms Rogers told reporters her daughter, nicknamed “Michellita”, dreamt of growing up to become a doctor, and she would have wanted her organs to be donated to others in need — but she was so seriously injured that was impossible, adding to the family’s grief.
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