A 13-year-old boy remained in critical condition Tuesday with severe burns suffered over the weekend after he reportedly tried to light a grill with gasoline.
The boy was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta after the incident, which fire officials said occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday at 2895 Chadbourne Trail in south Forsyth.
Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo confirmed the boy, Daniel Deleon, is in the eighth grade at Piney Grove Middle School.
She said students were told about Deleon's condition Tuesday morning. Counselors and teachers were made available to students who wanted to talk about the situation.
Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said Deleon appeared to have suffered extensive second- and third-degree burns to more than 70 percent of his body.
"He attempted to reignite the fire with gasoline and as soon as the vapors found the heat it flashed back to the gas can, causing an explosion," said Shivers, adding that coals in the grill were still hot from a previous fire.
Shivers explained that burns range from first to third degree, with third being the worst.
He compared a first-degree burn to a severe sunburn. A second-degree burn causes redness, is painful to the touch and can show some bubbling of the skin.
Third-degree burns, he said, sear the flesh and can char the skin, requiring that it be removed.
Shivers said the fire department received several 911 calls from residents who heard the explosion and thought a propane tank had blown up.
The first fire lieutenant on the scene realized the severity of Deleon's injuries and called for an emergency helicopter, Shivers said.
Fire and emergency medical personnel treated the boy while they waited for his flight.