COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho.-- Two children were airlifted to a Seattle hospital with severe burns after a man poured gasoline into a campfire Saturday evening in Coeur d’Alene.
Authorities said the 35-year-old visitor at the house near the intersection of Norlyn Court and North 10th Street poured gas from a five gallon jug into a lit fire pit.
Police said the man threw the gas can five feet behind him, where it exploded. The contents of the can and flames engulfed an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl sitting on a swing in the back yard. Both children sustained substantial burns, according to police.
A neighbor, the father of the four-year-old girl, watched the incident unfold and jumped the fence and put the flames out on the girl while the man who started the fire patted down the boy. The little girl was visiting the boy next door.
Responding agencies transported the children to Kootenai Health. From there, they were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The boy’s uncle, J.J. Honeycutt, said he was torn up when he heard the news about his nephew, Josh.
“It's stupid what happened, and it goes to show that we really need to be careful, especially around children with gasoline and flammable things,” said Honeycutt.
Detectives interviewed the man responsible and took a report for Injury to a Child. Authorities said no charges were filed as of Monday.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department said the incident served as a serious reminder not to mix fire with explosive materials.
On his Facebook page, Josh's father said the little boy was in stable condition on Monday and opened his eyes and acknowledged his dad.