For­mer North East res­i­dent burned in flash fire

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A 13-yearold girl suf­fered burns on Tues­day night when flames flared as she at­tempted to start a fire in a back­yard burn pit at her Ne­wark-area home, prompt­ing her mother to drive her to Union Hos­pi­tal in Elk­ton, ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice.

“They live in Delaware, right over the (state) line. It was closer to drive her to Union Hos­pi­tal than to Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal,” ex­plained Deputy State Fire Mar­shal Howard Ewing, who started his in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the fire-re­lated ac­ci­dent af­ter hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials there con­tacted the MSFMO.

Be­cause the girl’s “non­life-threat­en­ing” first-de-

NE­WARK, DEL.

gree and sec­ond-de­gree burns to her face re­quired ad­di­tional treat­ment, emer­gency work­ers trans­ported her from Union Hos­pi­tal to the Crozer-Ch­ester Burn Cen­ter, south of Philadel­phia, fire of­fi­cials said.

The girl spent the night at that burn cen­ter and was dis­charged on Wednes­day, fire of­fi­cials added.

Ewing started in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fire-re­lated ac­ci­dent be­cause, based on er­ro­neous pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion, the teen had suf­fered her burns while start­ing a burn-pit fire at a res­i­dence in the unit block of Cy­press Drive in the Tim­ber­brook neigh­bor­hood in North East, ac­cord­ing to fire of­fi­cials.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors later learned, how­ever, that the teen used to live at that Cy­press Drive ad­dress but now lives near Ne­wark — where the fire-re­lated ac­ci­dent ac­tu­ally had oc­curred at about 7:15 p.m. Tues­day, fire of­fi­cials re­ported.

The case has since been turned over to Delaware fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Ewing said.

First-de­gree burns, some­times called su­per­fi­cial burns, af­fect the top layer of skin while sec­ond-de­gree burns af­fect the next layer of skin, which typ­i­cally will blis­ter and bub­ble. (Third­de­gree burns, the worst, cause deep tis­sue dam­age.)

On Wednes­day morn­ing, Sr. Deputy State Fire Mar­shal Oliver J. Alkire had re­ported that in­ves­ti­ga­tors here be­lieved that the flash fire oc­curred be­cause the teen had used gaso­line as an ac­cel­er­ant while at­tempt­ing to start the burn pit fire.

“We urged all Mary­land- ers to never use gaso­line or any other type of ac­cel­er­ant when start­ing a fire,” Alkire said, ex­plain­ing that the fumes from such ac­cel­er­ants cre­ate an un­pre­dict- able sit­u­a­tion. “Any­one who is in that va­por cloud could eas­ily be burned.”

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