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Neighbors aid mother burned in Palm Bay house fire

9-year-old boy with autism accidentally starts fire playing with gasoline

PALM BAY, Fla. – Brevard County neighbors got results for one another during a terrifying ordeal Monday night in Palm Bay.

Palm Bay Fire Rescue said when a woman was burned around 8 p.m. as her Glenridge Street home caught fire, quick-acting neighbors helped treat her before even the first paramedics could arrive.

Frank Walker said he opened his next-door neighbor's home while his wife and another neighbor, Wanda Price, brought the victim inside to run cold water on her burns.

"The flames started shooting up and that's when I saw my neighbor coming out, running and screaming," Walker said. "She was in pain and you could just see in her face, she was grimacing. My wife and another neighbor, they took her inside to wash her off, to cool her down from the burns," he continued, referring to Price.

"I saw her. I assisted. I took her to the neighbor's next door," Price told News 6 about helping the burn victim.

Price said she works in the medical field and knew immediately they needed cold water.

"The only way to treat a burn is the cold water to cool off the body temperature," Price said. "It was very difficult because she kept saying that her legs were burning."

Palm Bay Fire Rescue said Tuesday the fire ignited when the woman's 9-year-old son with autism was playing with gasoline in their garage as a dryer in the garage was running.

Firefighters said the rest of the family, including the woman's husband, her mother-in-law, a 12-year-old child and the 9-year-old boy who accidentally started the fire, made it out OK.

Firefighters told News 6 the mother will ultimately be OK, too.

She's said to be currently recovering at Orlando Regional Medical Center while the rest of the family stays at a Melbourne, Florida hotel. The American Red Cross is helping the family.

The house is badly damaged but is not a total loss, firefighters said.


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