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02-04-15 Update on 9-Year-Old Burn Victim

s2m2 fire investigators are still trying to determine exactly what happened when the boy was burned shortly before 6:00 p.m. Tuesday at 3510 5th Avenue.

As we reported earlier (see release below), an adult relative of the boy was burning trash in the front yard. The boy reportedly obtained a can of gasoline. What exactly happened next remains under investigation. Eyewitnesses, including Ramone Williams, who was in a house across the street, told firefighters and EMS personnel that he heard an explosion. When he looked outside, he saw the boy scrambling around on fire. Williams said he ran across the street, covered the boy with his jacket, and rolled him around on the ground to put the fire out. Lt. McElvain said the incident will likely be ruled accidental, though the investigation is continuing.

Hamilton County EMS rushed the boy to Children's Hospital at Erlanger. Later, he was transferred to the burn center in Augusta.

Fire Chief Lamar Flint said this tragic incident is a stark reminder of how dangerous gasoline can be in the wrong hands. "Gasoline is extremely flammable and explosive," said Chief Flint, "and it should only be used for its intended purpose, as fuel for vehicles and outdoor power tools such as lawnmowers. Most of all, gasoline should be kept out of reach and out of sight from children."

This week also happens to be Burn Awareness Week. In an effort to prevent similar tragedies, here are some important safety tips related to gasoline:

Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.If fire does start while handling gasoline, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately, and call for help.Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources (i.e., electrical devices, oil- or gas-fired appliances, or any other device that contains a pilot flame or a spark).Store gasoline outside the home (i.e., in a garage or lawn shed) in a tightly closed metal or plastic container approved by an independent testing laboratory or the local or state fire authorities. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers (i.e., milk jugs).Store only enough gasoline necessary to power equipment and let machinery cool before refueling it.Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent.Clean up spills promptly and discard clean-up materials properly.Do not smoke when handling gasoline.Never use gasoline in place of kerosene.Use caution when fueling automobiles. Do not get in and out of the automobile when fueling. Although rare, an electrical charge on your body could spark a fire, especially during the dry winter months.Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Place the container on the ground before filling and never fill containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck. Follow all manufacturers' instructions when using electronic devices (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) near gasoline.

Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5600
() -5610 (fax)

Fire Prevention Bureau
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5618
() -5611 (fax)

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