Local News

Boy, 9, accidentally burns himself

Posted November 11, 2010

— A 9-year-old boy accidentally burned himself while playing in the back yard of a Smithfield home late Wednesday afternoon, according to the police department.

Police said that the boy was visiting relatives at 201 Sunrise Ave. and, without the knowledge of an adult at the home, tried to set fire to a piece of wood using gasoline. The gasoline ignited, catching his clothes on fire. The adult heard the commotion and extinguished the fire on the boy's clothes.

The boy was taken to Johnston Medical Center, then airlifted to North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. The extent of his injuries was unknown.

Police said that they were investigating, following normal procedure, and that Johnston County Child Protective Services had been notified.


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  • tarheel1968 Nov 11, 2010

    to itsmyownopinion: unfortunately i do have scars from the burns and the skin grafts,and yes i am lucky to be alive and i thank God every day for sparing my life. on a good note i am healing and DO NOT MESS WITH GAS ANYMORE!! lesson learned the hard way.

  • See Chart Nov 11, 2010

    There was a child in Wilson NC who was just walking near
    an outdoor fire where the family was burning trash and a
    little brother ,unwatched threw a can or gasoline into the
    fire ,what followed was 18 years of burn graft surgery for
    my wife, sad.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 11, 2010

    I feel for you mj. I know the agony of spending time with a child in the hospital, but thankfully it was not a burn center.
    I hope your daughter made a complete recovery.
    Wow, tarheel, you are indeed fortunate to be alive, and hopefully healed without scars.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 11, 2010

    Probably there's not a parent alive that shouldn't be thankful their child never got burned. I recall one Christmas when I was placing a lot of candles throughout the house as I prepared for an open house for the entire neighborhood, family and friends. I told my daughter, who was young, that she was not to touch them, that I would light them just before guests began arriving. I found that she did not follow that and she had lit one or more in a bedroom. This is where my memory fades, as I don't recall the lecture, but I can still remember the sad face she had as she handed me an apology letter saying she would never light another candle as long as she lived. I still have the apology. No doubt she has broken that promise since she has grown up, but she learned from the experience. I wonder if the fascination with flames begins with birthday candles?

  • samsuffy1 Nov 11, 2010

    When I was about 12, I tried heating some kerosene with electricity to see if it would explode. The kerosene boiled but the wires failed. I threw a lighted match into the container (about 1/2 pint) and it flamed up. Then I decided to kick it over. It splashed back on my let and left second degree burns. No permenant damage but a healthier respect for burning fluids.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Nov 11, 2010

    I bet he won't do that again.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Nov 11, 2010

    Wow...the makings of a pyromaniac? I NEVER wanted to play with fire.

  • kikinc Nov 11, 2010

    GulfWarVet-You're right. If the kids are quiet, they're up to no good. I've never understood some kids' fascination with fire. I don't remember being curious about fire, but my memory of those years is pretty sketchy these days. I could have been.

    On another note, I'm kind of assuming you're a veteran (the name). If so, happy veteran's day!! And thank you for your service.

  • GulfWarVet Nov 11, 2010

    kids and fire don't mix. I still recall a kid in middle school who used a can of lighter fluid on a charcoal fire that was already burning, and when he stopped squeezing the flame traveled back to the can causing it to explode. 3rd degree burns over 99% of his body. He lived 3wks before finally dying of complications.

    Goes to show. If you have kids and it's quiet. They are up to SOMETHING... and it's probably not good. Hope this child recovers.

  • tarheel1968 Nov 11, 2010

    i know from experience what this little boy is going through. i to was burned by using gas. on may 7th, i was burned almost as bad as he, i spent 26 days in the icu unit at the burn center, no fun when family members tell you that for the first 2 weeks the docs were worried that i might not make it,i still have a long road head of me and no i'm not trying to make this about me but everyone needs to know that no matter your age(i am a 42 yr.old female) you dont play with gas. my thoughts and prayers go out to this family.