20-month-old loses three of his fingers to third-degree burns after crawling into 700-degree family fire pit
Troy Levenhagen's family had let summer's first bonfire smoulder overnight, and the infant got severely burnt when he was caught in life-threatening heat while reaching for a stick
VERGAS, MINNESOTA: A toddler has suffered third-degree burns and also lost three of his fingers after he plunged his hands into the family’s fire pit. The tragic incident happened on May 30 night when the family had their first bonfire of the summer. However, they reportedly did not put water on the pit to cool it down and let the fire burn out that night.
The next day, Troy Levenhagen reportedly reached into the pit to take a stick when he got burned. It has been said that though no flames were visible, the coals and ash of the pit were still extremely hot and as soon as the 20-month-old touched it, he got hurt. "He put the left (hand) down first. That started to burn, so he put the right one down. At that point, the (fire pit) ring was high enough that his feet actually came off the ground and he put all his body pressure down on his hands. That's why they burned so deep. He was touching at least 600-700 degree coals," Troy’s father, Alex Levenhagen, told KARE.
According to reports, the child was pulled away from the pit by his eight-year-old sister Tessany before he was rushed to a local emergency room. The emergency room later sent Troy to Hennepin Healthcare’s Burn Unit. "They said right away, it's all third-degree, full-thickness burns. He actually lost this pinky, all but the last bone of the ring finger, and the tip of the middle (finger) from the depth of the burns,” Alex said.
Troy has been at Hennepin Healthcare for the last one month, where his skin was grafted. The child’s family said that he will need rehab, but will recover soon. "We've got a strong little boy. He's a fighter," the toddler’s father said.
While at the hospital, Alex also realized that they are not the only family with this kind of tragic story. "We've been here almost a month and we've had other kids come in with similar instances," he said.
So, the father has shared a simple message for others also that urges people to put water on the fire at the end of the night. "Don't let that coal bed sit there," Alex added.
Meanwhile, the family has also initiated a GoFundMe page to help cover travel and medical expenses. The fundraising page has raised $ 6,720 of $10,000 goal by Monday, June 29.
In another incident, a boy from Staten Island, New York, was burned two years ago when a waitress at a Graniteville eatery spilled hot water on him, a lawsuit alleged. The suit alleged that the child suffered “significant burns” in the incident that happened on August 13, 2018, at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) on Richmond Avenue in Graniteville. The victim was then about two-year-old and suffered second-degree burns, said Robert J. Menna, the family’s lawyer.
The suit has demanded unspecified monetary damages for the incident that happened when the waitress, identified as Jane Doe, brought hot water for tea to the table and raised the vessel holding the liquid over the child’s head. The hot water spilled onto the boy, and due to which he suffered “significant” burn injuries. The suit has alleged that the boy suffered injuries because of the defendants’ “carelessness, recklessness, and negligence.”