Girl Hospitalized After Falling into Fire Pit at Newport Dunes
A 10-year-old girl has been hospitalized with serious burn injuries after she fell into a large fire pit during a fathers-daughters gathering at the Newport Dunes in Newport Beach. According to a City News Service report, the girl fell the morning of May 19 during activities taking place at the Dunes resort near Back Bay Drive. The girl suffered third-degree burn injuries with damage to her ribs, hip, wrist and hair when she fell into the pit. She was immediately pulled out of the pit by one of the dads at the campout event.
Mike Heddleston, an off-duty firefighter who was one of the dads at the event, began emergency treatment of the girl by pouring cold water on her burns. Paramedics and firefighters then arrived at the scene and transported the girl to a regional burn unit. She is expected to survive and be released from the hospital soon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with this young girl who has apparently suffered serious injuries in this accident. We wish her the very best for a quick and full recovery and are relieved that she received timely help from the off-duty firefighter, who might have saved her life if not prevented even more serious injuries.
Fire Pit Injuries
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) outdoor patio heater and fire pit injuries nearly tripled in the six years between 2006 and 2012 – from 1,330 to 3,608. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) reports that approximately 5,000 Americans are injured by charcoal, wood-burning or propane gas fires each year. So, as we get closer to the summer, while fire pits can be a fun way to spend summer nights, they can also pose the risk of serious injuries or even fatalities.
Preventing Fire Pit Injuries
Here are a few steps we can all take to prevent fire pit accidents:
- Build your fire pit on a level surface. Make sure the ground or surface is even in order to reduce the risk of the fire escaping beyond your fire pit.
- Keep the fire at a safe distance. Build the pit at least 10 feet away from structures, fences and trees.
- Do not use gasoline or other lighter fluids, which could cause a fire to get out of control very quickly. Instead use dry wood as kindling that doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the pit.
- Monitor guests around fire pits. Make sure guests maintain proper distance and don’t exhibit risky behavior. Supervise children and pets closely.
- Check the weather report. Do not use the fire pit on windy days when flames and embers could fly over and set things ablaze.
- Never leave the fire pit unattended. Monitor it at all times.
- Put out the fire safely with water and spread the ashes to cool. Leave only when they are completely cool to the touch.
If you or a loved one has suffered fire pit injuries, contact an experienced Newport Beach personal injury lawyer who can help determine your legal rights and options.