2010-06-04 / Top Stories

Boy Badly Burned As Prank Goes Awry

By Howard Schwach

A local 10-year old was badly burned and remains in the hospital when a water balloon he had ignited accidently sparked a gasoline puddle, causing a large fireball that engulfed him.

Sources say that Gavin Rogers was playing on a concrete patio behind the garage of his family’s home on Beach 146 Street in Neponsit with his brother, Chris and another friend at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The boys used a can of gas to fill up a dirt bike and accidently spilled some of the gas on the patio.

Then, reports say, Gavin began fooling around with a balloon that he filled with water.

He touched it to flame and the flame caused the balloon to burst. A stillburning piece of the rubber balloon fell to the gasoline puddle on the patio, sparking the fireball, which was so hot, reports say, that it melted Gavin’s sneakers.

The other two quick-thinking boys grabbed a nearby garden hose and quickly put out the fire.

“He just started screaming, ‘help me, help me. It burns,’” the other boys told a Daily News reporter.

Gavin suffered second and third degree burns over half of his body and was rushed by EMS ambulance to the Nassau University Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition.

“They initially thought that it was really bad,” his father, Sean Taylor, told News reporters. “Now, they think it’s not life threatening.”

Sources says that Gavin’s older brother, Tyler, 13, was watching him while their parents were at work.

“He was supposed to tell me what he was doing,” Tyler told the reporters. “I gave him a warning, I told him not to play with fire.”

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