Local

Atwater girl in hospital after suffering burns

Monday, December 24, 2012

A young Merced County girl is in the hospital after she was badly burned.

The accident happened just after 10 a.m. Monday at a home on Gleneagle and Sandpiper in Atwater.

That's where firefighters say the father rushed the girl to the bathtub, turned on the shower and extinguished the fire before help arrived.

The girl was then life-flighted to a hospital in Fresno.

Firefighters say the girl's injuries could have been more severe if it wasn't for the actions of her quick-thinking father.

She received first and second degree burns to more than half of her body, but she was awake and talking when she was transported to the hospital.

A scary scene this Christmas Eve after an eight-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital with burns covering her face, neck and upper body.

Firefighters say a family member was putting lice medication in the girl's hair when a candle burning in the room ignited the vapors causing the girl to catch fire.

"With that particular product it's highly flammable. It's a liquid product and as it was being applied to her hair and dripping onto her chest and back, as soon as the vapors made contact with that open flame there was a quick flash fire consistent with if you were to pour gasoline on an open flame," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Gabriel Santos said.

Santos says the girl's father quickly grabbed her and put her in the bathtub, while her mother called 911.

"The father attempted to extinguish the girls hair that was still smoldering on fire with a towel and sustained burns to his hands," Santos said.

But he was able to put the fire out, saving her from further injury. She was then flown to the burn unit at CRMC where she will receive extensive treatment, but is expected to survive.

Meantime, firefighters are reminding families to be careful near an open flame.

"We're informing all parents to follow the instructions on the products themselves prior to use and use caution whenever you have an open flame inside your residence," Santos said.

The father received minor injuries to his hands, but refused medical treatment and is expected to be okay. The fire was contained to the bathroom and caused minimal damage to the home. No one else was hurt.

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merced county, atwater, local, linda mumma
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