Va. child, adult burned while trying to light pumpkin


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach firefighters say a child and an adult were burned while trying to light a pumpkin Thursday evening.

Crews responded to the scene in the 3100 block of Polk Drive around 8:16 p.m. According to firefighters, a 4-year-old girl and a 42-year-old man suffered burns on their arms, neck, face and chest.

Investigators say they were trying to light a pumpkin with a butane grill lighter. The pumpkin was not fully carved and the fumes built up inside, causing a flash fire.

“We had the 42-year-old boyfriend holding a 4 year-old child. They were carving pumpkins,” said Virginia Beach Fire Marshal Terrance Tassone. “As they finished carving it, he was holding the girl in his arms. He turned the pumpkin upside down, there was no candle in it at the time. He was going to show the little girl what it looked like lit up inside. He took a grill lighter, a butane grill lighter. Turned the pumpkin upside down, put the lighter inside and was trying to light it. As he was trying to do that butane fumes were escaping into the pumpkin.”

The victims were transported to Norfolk General. They suffered first and second degree burns. Officials say 30 percent of the man’s body was burned, including his abdomen and genital area. The girl was burned on her face, right arm and some blistering on her lip. It is possible they also suffered inhalation burns, say firefighters.

The fire is listed as accidental at this time.

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