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    Boys to get fire safety lessons

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 18, 2001


    LARGO -- Fire officials plan to recommend that two young brothers burned by a grill fire Wednesday attend a fire-prevention course once their wounds have healed.

    Shaqwan Thomas, 6, and his brother, Timmy Thomas, 10, were burned while they played with lighter fluid and a grill in the back yard of their home, 10301 123rd Ave. N. Shaqwan was taken by helicopter to the burn unit at Tampa General Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition on Thursday. He suffered first- and second-degree burns over 25 percent to 30 percent of his body, fire officials said.

    Timmy Thomas wasn't as seriously injured and was taken to Largo Medical Center, where he was treated in the emergency room, but not admitted.

    Officials with the Largo Fire Department plan to recommend that the boys attend a Juvenile Fire Setters program, in which they will learn the dangers of fire. Their mother, Jessica Harris, also will be asked to attend with her sons, fire officials said.

    The boys apparently had finished dinner and were getting ready to roast marshmallows in the grill. They poured lighter fluid on the grill, which created a lot of vapors. They lit the grill and the vapors caught fire, heating the air at least several hundred degrees, said fire inspector Keith Murray.

    Murray said a boy in a tree house about 20 feet away felt the heat. He said it's important to remember to keep children closely supervised any time they are near fire or grills.

    "They got a little carried away with the lighter fluid, and it flashed on them," he said.

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