Boy, 12, critical after gas can explosion in Coraopolis

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CORAOPOLIS, Pa. - A 12-year-old boy remains hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition with severe burns after an explosion that also injured two other boys in Coraopolis Monday afternoon.

Georgette Brown said her son, Peyton, was in a medically induced coma at UPMC Mercy Hospital after he and the other boys tried to use gasoline on a bonfire.

The Coraopolis Fire Department said it appears the plastic gas can exploded when the boys tried to pour the liquid on the flames.

Georgette Brown said she heard an explosion in the yard, then saw her son on fire.

“I heard the screaming, and I ran out back and there he was, on fire,” Brown said.

Authorities said Peyton Brown suffered burns on 40 percent of his body, including his arms and chest.

According to Georgette Brown, Peyton will have more surgery later this week, but is expected to be OK.

Family members and a Columbia Gas crew, who were nearby, helped extinguish the flames. 

A representative from Columbia Gas said a worker ran to the scene and used his coat to extinguish the flames.

"I took my jacket off and smothered out the flames. Peyton, at that time, wasn't in a lot of pain, but we knew it was obvious what was going on. It was horrible,'" said Larry Jones, who saved the boy.

Two other boys were treated for burns at the hospital and released. A fourth boy was not injured.