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Michigan Girl Severely Burned In Fire Pit Accident

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A 6-year-old Lenox Township girl is reported to be in critical condition at Children's Hospital of Michigan after suffering burns in a fire pit accident.

Macomb County sheriff's investigators say the girl was with her 40-year-old father at a commons area of the mobile home park where they lived.

They were with a group of as many as 40 people gathered near a fire pit Sunday evening.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said the father attempted to increase the flames.

"The fire wasn't large enough so he decided to use some kind of accelerant on the actual fire. She somehow was doused with that chemical as it was being exposed to the flames," Hackel said.

Nearby neighbors moved quickly to help. Mike Foust was among those using their own shirts and chair cushions to smother the flames.

"She was in flames and I tried to jump on top of her and my friend came over with a blanket. There was a hose on the ground. I grabbed the hose and started to hose down her legs," Foust said.

The girl was burned over her entire body and remained conscious and screaming. Neighbor Kathy Pomeroy said the girl's father was also burned and tried to comfort her.

"He was right there, right by her, very hysterical," Pomeroy said.

The father is being treated for his burns at Mount Clemens General Hospital, where his injuries are described as non-life-threatening.

Sheriff Hackel said his department is investigating.

"The question is, is there any criminal act? Is there something here as far as negligence? We're looking at every aspect of this. In other words, we don't believe the father did this intentionally, however, we are going to investigate it," Hackel said.

Hackel said he could not confirm that the accelerant used at the fire pit was gasoline. He said investigators are examining fluid found in a red can at the scene.



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