11-Year-old Youngtown burn victim dies of injuries

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – The Youngtown boy who was badly burned in a backyard accident three weeks ago has died of his injuries.

Joe Anthony Fernandez, 11, suffered burns over 90 percent of his body when a wood-burning stove exploded. Only the soles of his feet were not burned.

It happened on Jan. 28. Joe was with his family at a friend’s home near 112th Drive and Alabama Avenue. They were in the backyard and were using the metal wood-burning stove to keep warm.

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

Joe’s sisters said he found some kind of gas or accelerant and poured it into the open top of the stove, causing it to explode.

Joe was air-lifted the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center. He spent three weeks in critical condition. Most of that time doctors kept him in a medically induced coma.

Joe passed away Friday night.