Peoria girl is recovering after accidentally setting herself on fire

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PEORIA, Ariz. -- An eight year old girl is recovering in the pediatric burn unit after accidentally lighting herself on fire.

Taizha LePage was inside of her Peoria bedroom on Sunday when she bent over to extinguish a candle on her nightstand - wearing a loose fitting tank top that she wore as pajamas.

Seconds later, her mother heard the girl's screams.

"She was completely engulfed in flames. From her waist up and she's kind of bent over screaming, 'mom, mom, mom, mom.'" said Kaila LePage, the girl's mom. "It couldn't have been but 10 to 15 seconds so for that to go up in flames and be that on fire and that hot... You could hear the flames, like a fireplace. Just instantaneous."

LePage, a psychiatric nurse, ripped the burning shirt over Taizha's head, whose hair then caught on fire.

"You know you're supposed to stop drop and roll it didn't... that's just not what happened. You panic, you do what you have to do to save your child's life," said LePage.

A small piece of charred fabric is all that's left after LePage threw the shirt on their tile floor.

Taizha was airlifted to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center with third degree burns on 12% of her body.

On Wednesday, Taizha had the first of several surgeries.

Phoenix Fire Captain Scott McDonald said he recommends parents buy sleepwear that's fire resistant - better protection than cotton, and certainly polyester products.

"We encourage parents to look at the tags, obviously nothing is fire proof but flame resistant things that burn slower are always a benefit," said McDonald.

According to federal law, kids' pajamas have to be flame resistant and tight fitting-- or required to have a warning label. There are no regulations for everyday clothing.

If you'd like to donate to the family:
Wells Fargo Bank
Taizha LePage Donation Account #3957368818