Chattanooga Boy Burned in Trash Fire Now at Burn Center in Augusta
Chattanooga fire investigators are still trying to determine exactly what happened when the boy was burned just before 6 o’clock last night on 5th Avenue.
If not for a neighbor–the situation could have been worse.
STEPHANIE MERRITT, NEIGHBOR "I’m thinking the lady was burning trash and he must have picked up the gas jug or something that just set-in off."
Stephanie Merritt was a witness to the neighborhood tragedy that has sent a 9 year old boy to a burn hospital in Georgia.
STEPHANIE MERRITT "We heard an explosion…explosion…(sound)…and we all three ran to the door and we opened it and when I looked outside…the little boy was like engulfed in flames ..And he took off running behind the house."
BRUCE GARNER, CHATTANOOGA FIRE DEPARTMENT "Neighbors, that were nearby actually heard an explosion ..Including some from across the the street…and ran over and one man took his jacket off and draped the boy with his jacket and rolled him on the ground…to get the fire out and did a good job of that.
That was Stephanie Merritt’s boy friend, Ramone Williams.
STEPHANIE MERRITT "He asked me to move..I stepped out of the way and let…he could run faster than me..and he got over there and I just started screaming make him drop and roll ..Make him roll. He actually told me he wouldn’t have known what to do ..he heard me in his mind telling the little boy to roll."
Fire spokesman Bruce Garner says this week also happens to be Burn Awareness Week.
BRUCE GARNER "This is an unfortunate tragedy that helps illustrate the point…gasoline is one of the worst things you could be dealing with."
Stephanie says she’s feels her little neighbor’s pain—because she was once a burn victim herself.
STEPHANIE MERRITT "Somebody was cooking..and I actually..they had picked up the grease..it was a grease fire…and I ran right underneath it….90 per cent of my body was burned."
Although they think this fire tragedy was just an accident, the fire marshal says an investigation is still underway.
The name of the 9-year old boy has not been released.
And his condition at Joseph M. Still Burn Center is not known.