Cleveland boy in critical condition after being burned

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts

Salisbury Post

A young boy remains in critical condition after he was burned at his family’s Cleveland home Wednesday afternoon.

Lontee “LL” Pressley, 9, was severely burned on his face, arms, legs and hands. He remains at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center’s burn unit in Winston-Salem his grandmother, Norma Cuthbertson said Thursday morning by phone.

It was initally reported that Lontee might have poured gasoline on a campfire or his clothes caught fire, however, his grandmother said she isn’t sure how he received his injuries.

She said Lontee, his older brother, Kadarrius, 11, and a cousin were sitting in the backyard as they often did.

Cuthbertson was inside the 4140 Woodleaf Barber Road home and her husband, James, was in and out of the house stacking firewood.

“The boys don’t really know what happened,” she said.

She said the children told her they were sitting on a bench when they passed out.

“When they came to, LL was on fire. They saw he was screaming, hollering and running. They grabbed him and threw him down,” Cuthbertson said.

She said the boys remembered what they had learned in school about what to do if someone is on fire.

James Cuthbertson also assisted when he saw flames from the house and heard the boys’ screams.

“He told LL to lay down,” Norma said.

She said the doctors have placed the child in a medically induced coma. He was conscious during the ordeal, but was unable to tell how the fire started. He’s being monitored, given pain medication and his burns redressed, his grandmother said.

“They are getting his blood pressure down,” Norma said.

She asked that people keep the family in their prayers.

Cleveland Fire Chief Kenny Payne said Thursday they are continuing to investigate the incident. The call initially was reported as an explosion. Woodleaf Fire Department and Rowan County EMS also responded.

Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or