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Child burned in backyard fire accident

April 15, 2009
Sarah Day — Staff Writer

WINNEBAGO - An 8-year-old boy suffered second-degree burns Saturday when his pant leg caught fire.

The Winnebago Ambulance and fire department was paged to 233 Southwest Third Ave., the home of Nicole Witlow, at 12:47 p.m. to a report of a person on fire. They were later told the person was a child.

Fire Chief Todd Enger said that when his department arrived on scene, an EMT was already attending to the child.

"We put a small fire (the mother) had in the back yard out," he said. "We advised her she shouldn't be burning in the city this time of year."

He said it was mostly leaves burning.

Police Chief Bob Toland confirmed his department is investigating the case, but doesn't anticipate charges.

"Anytime something like this happens we investigate it," he said. "At this time there won't be charges filed. (The child) had second-degree burns. I imagine it hurt quite a bit, but it's nothing life-threatening."

Officer Chris Vasvick said he is wrapping up the case.

"We determined it was just an accident," he said. "Stuff happens. I talked to (the child) afterward and he was doing all right."

Vasvick emphasized the importance of not burning this time of year.

"Right now the ground is really dry, the air is dry, therefore the ashes could start more than just your pile of leaves ... on fire," he said. "City ordinance states ... the only time you're allowed to burn leaves is October first through December first."



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