WINTER PARK, Fla. - A family's evening around a grill on Christmas Day turned tragic when an accident lead to an inferno, and injured a 3-year-old boy.
Neighbors said the boy's family often grills dinner in the parking lot, and each time, the toddler stands next to his dad. This time, that little boy was just too close.
The child's father was cooking at the Tuscany at Aloma apartments on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park when something went wrong, said Bobby Dyer, a family friend who intended to grill with the father. It's still unclear exactly how the boy was burned, but neighbors recorded cell phone video of the flames destroying two nearby vehicles.
"I saw this boy running past on fire," said one witness. "His feet were on fire and he was running around crying."
Jessica Bridges arrived into the complex just in time. She's a medical assistant and helped tend to little boy, who she said was clearly was in shock.
"I saw her running out with her son. She was holding him in her arms and she was screaming in Spanish that her son was burning, that he was burning," said Bridges. "He had pretty severe third degree burns on the back of his calves."
As the child's mother raced him to Arnold Palmer hospital, neighbors rushed to battle the growing fire.
"My instincts kicked in and I started grabbing fire extinguishers and trying to put the fire out," said Edry Santiago.
But by then, the damage was done. Now, one family's Christmas will be spent in the hospital with their child.
"It's probably a horrible feeling for a parent," said Bridges.
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