6 Burned by backyard bonfire in Queen Creek

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- Six people were injured by a backyard bonfire Tuesday night in Queen Creek.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of an accidental fire with a possible small explosion near Riggs and Ellsworth roads at about 9:15 p.m., according to Deputy Joaquin Enriquez.

Deputies assisted the Queen Creek Fire Department in treating four victims with second- and third-degree burns. Two others had minor burns.

Enriquez said the most serious victim was an 11-year-old girl who had burns over 50 percent of her body, including her face and head.

A 19-year-old man suffered burns to the lower part of his body and a 38-year-old woman was burned on her extremities, according to Marnie Schubert of the Queen Creek Fire Department.

The homeowner told deputies that all the victims were sitting around a warming fire, which consisted of boards in a metal 50-gallon barrel, when someone poured gasoline from a plastic gas can into the fire and the gas can exploded.

Enriquez said all the people present are related to one another.

Three burn victims were flown to Maricopa Medical Center while three others, including a 3-year-old boy, were transported by ground. All were alert and conscious prior to transport.

It is undetermined if criminal charges will be pursued at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.