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Man critical after kerosene explosion

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
A Rowan County man was in critical condition and his teenage son also suffered serious burns Friday following a kerosene explosion in their Copper Leaf Lane backyard.
Greg Childs, 44, and his eldest son, Luke, 17, were burning a pile of wood at 150 Copper Leaf Lane, off Glover Road, around 7 p.m.
Greg’s wife, Heather, was inside the couple’s home with their younger children when she heard a loud boom. She rushed outside.
Heather said there were two cans of kerosene in the backyard.
Greg suffered burns to his hands, face, legs and back. Luke had what Heather described as something similar to sunburn around his face.
Both of them were alert and talking to her.
“Luke said he could see the fire circling around his face,” she said.
Neither Greg nor Luke were disfigured in any way, Heather said.
“They were talking and moving,” she said.
Heather said she was thankful to God they were alive.
Greg was airlifted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he remained in critical condition Friday night.
Heather said Luke was being taken by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord. A hospital official said there was no record of him being admitted Friday night.
The family has lived in the area for about 18 months, Heather said.
Neighbor Shirley Nance had just arrived home when the accident occurred. She attends Faith Baptist Church with the couple.
Her relatives, Steve Nance and his son, were visiting Shirley’s home at 1890 Glover Road when they heard the explosion.
Steve said the explosion was muffled, but audible. He was outside in the garden.
Shirley Nance and two other neighbors went to check on Heather to make sure she and her younger children were OK.
Rowan County EMS arrived on the scene fairly quickly, Steve said.
Emergency responders established a landing zone for a medical helicopter at Mount Hope Church Road, not far from the home.

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