Newark girl burned trying to light fire pit
A 13-year-old Newark girl suffered burns on Tuesday night when flames flared as she attempted to start a fire in a backyard burn pit at her home, prompting her mother to drive her to Union Hospital in Elkton, Md.
The incident was investigated by fire officials in Maryland due to a mix-up over where the fire occurred.
“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 the fire marshal’s office.
Because the girl’s “non-lifethreatening” first-degree and second-degree burns to her face required additional treatment, emergency workers took 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 accident because, based on erroneous preliminary information, investigators believed the teen had suffered her burns at her former address in North East, Md.
Investigators later learned, however, that the teen now lives near Newark – where the accident actually had occurred at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, fire officials reported. Ewing was unable to provide the exact address.
The case has since been turned over to Delaware fire investigators, Ewing said.
On Wednesday morning, Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver J. Alkire had reported that investigators believed that the flash fire occurred because the teen had used gasoline as an accelerant while attempting to start the burn pit fire.
“Never use gasoline or any other type of accelerant when starting a fire,” Alkire said, explaining that the fumes from such accelerants create an unpredictable situation. “Anyone who is in that vapor cloud could easily be burned.”