ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 7-year-old girl was flown to the burn unit in Gainesville Sunday night after a flash fire caused by someone mixing chemicals in an effort to produce a green flame, according to St. Johns County Fire-Rescue.
Ana Giovanni was seriously burned in the incident on Marsh Island Circle about 7:30 p.m. Her parents said they didn't realize how close the girl was as the child's grandmother was mixing the chemicals inside a pumpkin, as she had seen done on the internet. Some of the burning liquid splashed on the girl's arm and face, and she began to scream.
Ana's parents immediately put her in their pool and called 911, then the girl's father took her to the nearest fire station, where she was taken to the hospital.
"It's a chemical fire. We were making green flames in a pumpkin," the 911 caller told the St. Johns County dispatcher. "I looked up and the fire had splattered and she was on the other side of it and her dress and ... she just had little splatters of fire on her."
LISTEN: 911 call reporting girl burned (Caution: graphic content)
St. Johns Fire spokesman Jeremy Robshaw said authorities were uncertain what chemicals were mixed. A family friend said the burns were not as bad as first thought, and Ana was already out of the hospital.
News4Jax was told the Fire Marshal's Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families were notified and may look into the case.
“Sometimes accidents just happen, so they’ll look at her history and see if she had a background of child abuse, child neglect or if there have been any other problems like this in the family,” News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said.
Smith said to prevent injuries like Ana's, families can use battery operated decorative candles.