Parents issue warning after Kansas girl severely burned using rubbing alcohol to start fire

Parents issue warning after Goddard girl severely burned in attempt to start campfire
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The recovery process will be long for a Goddard girl who was burned in mid-June while attempting to start a campfire with rubbing alcohol.

Priscilla Fowler’s parents describe her as an active 11-year-old who wrestles, cheers, runs track and plays soccer.

But for over a week, Priscilla has been in the hospital dealing with second and third-degree burns that cover 70 percent of her body. They are injuries that will require multiple surgeries and skin grafting.

“She’s not always awake, she’s pretty medicated because she’s in a lot of pain,” said Danielle NeSmith, Priscilla’s mother on Tuesday.

NeSmith said on June 13, Priscilla was spending the night at a friend’s house when the girls snuck out to make a campfire with food from the kitchen.

“They used rubbing alcohol. I didn’t know this, but rubbing alcohol burns practically clear. So, they think it came back up to the container, and then she closed the lid. It had just enough oxygen for it to explode,” said NeSmith.

Nurses in the Burn Unit at Ascension Via Christi said children playing with fire is a dangerous combination.

“Fire is unpredictable, so it’s always recommended that you use precaution. In reality, most burn injuries are preventable, but accidents do happen. And, even the best of intentions can result in a tragic injury,” said Sarah Fischer, Program Coordinator for Ascension Via Christi Burn Center.

The accident caused Priscilla to undergo four surgeries to remove burned skin from her body.

“She’s always active. So, to see her just laying here in a bed, it makes it very difficult because I know it’s not her. It’s tough just to see her not be able to talk, move,” said Priscilla’s father, Mike Fowler.

Both of the girl’s parents said they wanted to share her story to remind other parents to talk to their children about the dangers of fires.

“Teach and preach on fire dangers and safety. Make sure they’re under surveillance when they’re doing it. Don’t let them experiment on their own,” said Fowler. “Let them know the dangers that could happen and it could be as serious as this.”

Fire and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional injuries to children, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Priscilla’s medical expenses.

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