Fayetteville principal seriously burned at school cookout

Posted June 11, 2015

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— The principal of Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville suffered third-degree burns Thursday when a propane grill malfunctioned right before the school's senior picnic.

Myron Williams was taken to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he was listed in good condition.

"It was really tough, unexpected," said Larry Parker, the school's assistant principal. "Our prayers are with him. Something like that you really can't plan for. We got to continue doing what we were doing and hopefully everything turns out well."

Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till said Seventy-First High was having a cookout for its seniors at Mazerick Park on the day before graduation. Williams was having trouble lighting one of grills, and when he opened one of the lids, the fumes ignited, fire officials said.

No students were in the area when the accident happened, school officials said. The picnic went on as planned, as will graduation on Friday.

One of the school's assistant principals will handle Williams' graduation duties.

"Kids are very resilient," said Gary Porter, another school assistant principal. "A lot of times we don't have to say much of anything to them. They will carry on and it helped a lot with them not being there when the accident did happen."


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  • Doug Smallen Jun 12, 2015
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    Human error, don't have the lid down till grill lights!

  • Ann Ethridge Jun 11, 2015
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    May God be with him. Praying for complete healing. The things educators will do for their students.

  • Leigh Ann Borgen Jun 11, 2015
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    Prayers for his recovery. I hope his students, friends and family rally around him and lift his spirits!

  • Barbara Sossomon Jun 11, 2015
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    Prayers. UNC burn center is the place to be.

  • Jim Buchanan Jun 11, 2015
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    Prayers for him and his family