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Two boys injured during Bel Air bonfire

National Weather Service

Two boys were transported to hospitals after sustaining burns following an accident at a bonfire in Bel Air.

The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and Harford County Sheriff's Office were called to 1300 block of Gunston Road at 7:34 p.m. Saturday night for reports of two juvenile victims with burns, Jennifer Chenworth-Price, spokesperson for Harford County Fire and EMS, said.

One boy, 12, was flown out and the other boy, 11, was taken by ambulance to John Hopkins Children's Center.

"Both victims are expected to make a full recovery and to be released from the hospital," said Oliver J. Alkire, spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal's Office, which investigated the incident.

Alkire said he was not sure if the boys had been released as of Monday afternoon. He said both boys suffered from first and second degree burns to the upper body.

"They sustained first and second degree burns that only needed being cleaned out and debriding," Alkire said.

During the incident, a small group of about a dozen pre-teens were having a supervised bonfire party at a residence on Gunston Drive, Alkire said.

The parent stepped inside and the 12-year old boy grabbed a gasoline container from the yard and poured the gas onto the campfire starting a flash fire, which injured him and the 11-year old boy.

"Through the investigation we found out the boy had poured gasoline onto the fire the first time and nothing happened," Alkire said. "He did it a second time and that's when the flash fire happened."

The State Fire Marshal determined "no malicious intent was identified at the conclusion of the investigation and no charges will be filed."

About 1,500 children are injured or killed by gasoline related fires annually across the United States, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. In Maryland, the State Fire Marshal investigates many of these types of fires in the summer and during the warmer months. Saturday's temperature high of 71 degrees, according to National Weather Service, caused unusually warm weather in December for the area.

Alkire urged the public to never use gasoline to start a fire or to continue a fire.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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