ARNOLD (KMOV.com) - A wife and mother of three is being treated in a local hospital after she suffered second-degree burns on over 18 percent of her body in a bonfire accident in the front yard of her home in the 1400 block of Valle View Drive on Sunday.
Her husband, Mike Cole, told News 4, "When the fire went kind of out, Geena my wife, was the one who stirred it with a shovel, just to get it going. Literally right when she did that, there was a big flash boom."
Cole said his wife was burned on her face, chest and arms. She’s being treated at Mercy Hospital’s burn unit. He said doctors haven’t decided if her burned skin will need to be removed and replaced with a skin graft or if the skin will be allowed to heal on its own.
"It's pretty bad," Cole said.
Cole said they were burning old furniture in the bonfire and it’s possible something in the furniture exploded.
Capt. Ron Harder with the Rock Community Fire Protection District said it’s recommended that only firewood be used for bonfires because furniture can have lacquers and other substances that could pose an unpredictable risk in a fire.
“However, when you heat them to certain temperatures, they have high flammability and can also cause a lot of sparking that can actually flash up very easily,” said Harder.
Some communities require a permit for making a bonfire. Harder recommends they be kept at least 25 feet from the home, limited to just 3’ x 3’ and recommends you keep a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with medical bills and lost ages. Cole said Geena may not be able to return to work for up to 6 months.