United States — A 13-year-old boy is in stable condition after he and another boy accidentally set a grass fire in Whitelaw. Fire officials say the boys were playing with matches when the fire they started got out of control.
“They had a clump of dry grass that they started on fire, and it got into a rather large bush, and then they got scared and tried to put the fire out but they couldn’t do it because it started going so fast,” Whitelaw Fire Chief Gene Schneider said.
The chief says the 13-year-old suffered burns to his face, neck, and both hands when he tried to put the fire out with his sweatshirt. He’s being treated at a Milwaukee burn center. The other boy wasn’t hurt.
The chief says with the dry conditions and high winds the fire grew instantly — making it impossible for the Whitelaw Volunteer Fire Department to contain it so he called for mutual aid.
The fire came close to a nearby feed mill, newly-built homes, and a cemetery.
“We did have flames eight to ten feet high at times, and it was moving very fast and were weren’t able to get any vehicles into it,” Chief Schneider said.
For well over two hours, 70 firefighters from four neighboring towns worked to extinguish the fire.
Charges will not be filed against the two teenage boys. Chief Schneider said, “We are not listing this as a malicious act or anything like that. It’s just, you know, how young boys can be: Inquisitive.”