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Boy severely burned, airlifted to hospital

Staff Report

CLEVELAND — A 9-year old Cleveland boy was severely burned Wednesday, apparently while playing around a campfire with friends.

Cleveland Fire Chief Kenny Payne estimated that the boy has burns over about 50 percent of his body, including his face, hands, legs and stomach.

Attempts to identify the boy or contact his parents or neighbors were unsuccessful.

Initially, fire and EMS crews were dispatched to 4140 Woodleaf Road in reference to an explosion.

Payne said it wasn’t clear how the boy was burned — he either poured gasoline on the fire or his clothes caught on fire.

“Even his parents didn’t know when we got here,” Payne said.

Because the emergency was called in as an explosion, Payne said he suspected gasoline or some type of chemical was involved.

The boy was airlifted to Wake Forrest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Payne said officers with the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating.

Members of the Woodleaf Fire Department assisted the Cleveland Fire Department and Rowan County EMS in responding to the accident.

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