Former North East resident burned in flash fire
— 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-
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.”