Valley boy critically burned in wood-burning stove explosion

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

YOUNGTOWN, Ariz. – An 11-year-old boy remains in critical condition after being burned over 90 percent of his body when a wood-burning stove exploded.

It happened late Friday night during a family gathering in the backyard of a Youngtown home near 112th Drive and Alabama Avenue.

About a dozen people were there at the time, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. They were using the metal wood-burning stove to keep warm.

The boy’s sisters said he found some kind of gas or accelerant and poured it into the open top of the stove. The 11-year-old has been identified as Joe Anthony Fernandez.

The rest of the family was getting ready to leave and noticed the boy was missing. That’s when they heard the explosion.

Fernandez was air-lifted to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

The family has established a Wells Farbo bank account to help with medical expenses. You can donate at any branch under the boy's name.