Family shares warning after 5-year-old badly burned near campfire

Jul 20, 2023, 6:56 PM

ERDA, Utah — A 5-year-old Tooele County boy is recovering from 2nd and 3rd degree burns after a campfire accident.

“We have lit fires with gasoline multiple times in our lifetime and you just never think something like that will happen,” Meranda Gomez said.

The Gomez family was camping in North Willow Canyon on June 27th when Robert Gomez attempt to start a campfire with wet logs and gasoline. What happened next is something they hope no other family has to ever experience.

“Not knowing the wood was super wet my husband first tried to start the fire and it didn’t take,” said Meranda Gomez. “So, he grabbed the gas can and went to dump the gas onto the logs and underneath the wood there had been some sort of flame we didn’t see,” she continued.

Gomez says the flame caught the gas on fire and quickly traveled up toward the can, as her husband jerked the can away the burning liquid hit Easton and their youngest daughter’s shoes.

“Easton was completely engulfed, the whole front of him was flames,” said Gomez.

Gomez says she quickly put out the fire on her daughter’s shoes as her husband sprinted after Easton who began to run. When he fell to the ground, later learning he tore his hamstring, she ran after him, put out the flames, and then quickly stripped off his melted clothing.

“I was just praying to God, like please don’t be that bad, please don’t be that bad,” she said.

What Gomez found under her son’s burned shorts were severe burns, but it wasn’t until she reached Primary Children’s Hospital she would learn they were 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

“With flame burns it’s hard because they progress and they get deeper and deeper with time,” she said.

Easton was transferred to the burn unit where he was treated for a week and a half, undergoing a skin graph surgery on his right leg.

“He was just so brave,” Gomez said. “He’s just bounced right back and his burns now, they’re amazing, from when we first saw them to where they are now it’s just mind blowing.”

Easton is now home with his family and friends in Tooele County and his recovery is going well. His father, who also spent time in the hospital for the torn hamstring, is also recovering and was recently cleared to return to work. A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with the on-going medical expenses.

“It’s been a tough few weeks for us,” said Gomez.

Gomez says what happened to Easton was a life changing accident, one she hopes others will now learn from.

“Unfortunately, we had a hard lesson we had to learn and were better because of it,” she said. “I just hope people look at our story and are more mindful when it comes to their children or starting fires in general, there are better alternatives to starting a fire than gasoline” she continued. ”I hope that people look at our story and do better.”

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Family shares warning after 5-year-old badly burned near campfire