Two preteen boys in Maryland have been transported to medical facilities after suffering burns at a bonfire in Bel Air. One of the boys, age 12, suffered such serious personal injury that he had to be airlifted from the scene. The other, age 11, was transported via ambulance to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Officials say they believe the incident was caused by a flash fire that occurred when one of the boys poured gasoline directly onto the larger blaze.
The Dec. 21 accident happened at about 7:30 p.m., according to emergency responders, as a group of preteens were attending a supervised bonfire party. When a parent stepped inside the house, one of the children picked up a gasoline container and poured additional fuel onto the fire. When nothing happened, the child attempted the feat again; that is when the flash fire occurred. Both of the victims reportedly suffered moderate first- and second-degree burns, though they are still receiving medical care to prevent serious infection. So far, investigators do not have cause to believe that the child injury was caused by malicious intent.
The pair of children join the approximately 1,500 American kids who are injured or killed in gas-related fires every year. Members of the public are urged to avoid using gasoline to start or fuel a fire, largely because the practice is so dangerous. Although many of these incidents occur during the summer months - when campfires are more common - gasoline fire injuries may happen during any time of the year.
Children who have been injured because they were left alone to play with fire deserve quality medical care to prevent permanent scarring and damage. In this case and other burn cases, the accident may cause a permanent injury that requires ongoing care. The responsible adults who were supposed to be supervising the bonfire party may be held responsible for the children's injuries; those victims may be able to recover damages to pay for their medical care and other civil claims costs. Qualified personal injury attorneys can help those families learn more about their legal rights, allowing them to get the money they desperately need and deserve.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Two boys injured during Bel Air bonfire" Krishana Davis, Dec. 23, 2013