6 burned after bonfire gets out of control - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

6 burned after bonfire gets out of control

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Six people were burned when a backyard bonfire at a Queen Creek home got of control, reportedly after an accelerant was used.

It looks like the fire was burning in a metal drum with the victims sitting nearby.

"It was a big bang.. like an explosion.  It is hard to say exactly what it was, but I thought maybe it was a piece of wood that fell down in the backyard," said a neighbor who quickly realized how serious the situation was.

"Once I stepped outside, yeah.. I knew it was something 'cause of all the chaos going on out here."

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says those burned Tuesday night included two children, include an 11-year-old girl who was burned over 50 percent of her body.

"It sounded like they were sitting around the camp fire and when it started dying down, there was an accelerant that was applied.  We are not sure what, how much or who did it," said Capt. Keith Lloyd of the Queen Creek Fire Department.

A 19-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman also had serious burns, while three other people had minor burn injuries.

The home located near Rittenhouse and Cloud is just outside Queen Creek, according to MCSO.

With the weather cooling down, backyard bonfires become more common and firefighters have this advice:

"You want to just use materials such as wood, paper.  You don't want to apply any kind of accelerant or fuel to it because this kind of thing that can happen," said Lloyd.

If you want to start a backyard bonfire, you need to check to see if there are any restrictions in your area.  

MCSO is investigating this incident.  Right now, it doesn't look like anyone is going to face charges.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson stated, "The Phoenix Police Officer injured in the fire in Queen Creek is Jason Stokes.  He works in the South Mountain Precinct."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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