6 YEAR OLD BOY in hospital because of bbq fire(mom used top can fuel to re-ignite the charcoal)
HILLSBORO, Ore. -- At L.C. Tobias Elementary School in Hillsboro, teachers had a tough lesson to relay to classmates of Eliceo Lopez.
Lopez, 6, is at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland after being burned after an explosion during a family barbecue.
"Anything that impacts any of your children in school is a blow to the heart and the stomach," Steve Callaway, principal at Tobias, said. "We want to make sure children don't get scared and that we don't focus on fear."
But fear is all Lopez's loved ones felt Sunday afternoon. Several people called 911 after they heard an explosion.
"It was a huge boom," one caller told 911 dispatchers. "Um, it sounded like a huge door slam right next to me. But, as my wife came out and I came out we realized the screaming was coming from about two blocks away."
Another 911 caller said, "We just heard a big explosion and there are people screaming."
As Lopez was flown to the hospital with severe burns, investigators found a gallon can of Top Fuel near the barbecue. Investigators said Lopez's mother had tried to re-ignite the charcoal grill with it. Lopez was standing nearby when the explosion happened.
"(You) don't have to be next to the grill," said Brian Barker, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue spokesman. "You can be 10, 15 feet away but those vapors travel along the ground, so as soon as you introduce an ignition source, the entire area catches on fire."
Lighter fluid is the only acceptable liquid to use on a charcoal grill as long as it isn't already lit. Gasoline should never be used on a grill -- it's only for engines and is extremely flammable. Top Fuel is also flammable and is only sold at specialty stores. Officials said it should only be used for remote controlled cars and airplanes, prompting investigators to say this accident was preventable.
Lopez's mother told investigators she just grabbed "some fuel," which turned out to be a nearly fatal mistake.
Lopez is in critical condition, but expected to live. He has burns on a large area of his body, including his face and hands