Flames from fireplaces are being blamed for many burns during last week's ice storm. News Channel Six's Dee Griffin has a warning from Doctors about fires and burns.
Due to the extremely cold weather last week, a lot of people were burned from getting too close to fires and using gasoline to light wood. Doctors say you must be extra careful because the effort to stay warm can be dangerous and even deadly.
Inside the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctor's Hospital the medical team has been dealing with the devastating effects of last week's ice storm. During that time, more than twenty patients from across the CSRA and the Southeast were brought here to heal from the harm caused by storm related burns. "You can see anything from electrical injuries from downed power lines, fires started in houses from people using candles and open hearth fireplaces, kerosene heaters, gas stoves," explains Dr. Fred Mulllins who is the Medical Director at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center.
Most people are able to survive their injuries. But that's not the case for everyone like five year old Grace Dudley of Jenkins County who died in this house due to a fire started by a candle. The family was asleep when the fire started and quickly overtook their house. While not all fires are fatal, any open flame can pose a significant risk especially to children. Dr. Mullins says, "the fireplaces, children putting their hands on the top of the fireplace or wood burning stove. People that have accidentally backed into them. People who have slipped and fallen into them."
Dr. Mullins adds that attempts to clean the wooden debris by burning up remnants left from the ice storm can prove to be dangerous and deadly especially if gasoline is involved. The best advice to avoid coming inside the burn center is to take extra precaution outside. "Be careful what you're doing. Do not use gasoline to start a fire. Just be cautious of your surroundings."
It's important to remember that fumes can be deadly if you use gasoline to burn debris. Fumes can ignite as soon as you light a match -- meaning you, and everything around you, can go up in flames in just seconds. So, Dr. Mullins says don't use gasoline as an accelerant.
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