Published June 22, 2005
Mom, girl burned in attempt to
Police: Flammable liquid ignited in 4-year-old's
By Tracy Burton
Lansing State Journal
A Lansing mother's attempt to rid her 4-year-old daughter of head
lice caused a fire that left them both in critical condition,
authorities said Tuesday.
The 44-year-old woman was apparently treating the girl with a
homemade concoction containing a flammable liquid when the flash fire
erupted Monday night, police said. Authorities wouldn't identify the
liquid, and they don't know exactly how the fire ignited.
Both were in critical condition Tuesday with severe burns. Their
names were not released.
The two ran from the home at 4309 Balmoral Drive about 9:30 p.m.,
screaming for help, police Sgt. Linda Doherty-Wright said.
A neighbor called 911 while they waited in their driveway for help.
Another child was in the home but was not hurt. The incident remains
"It appears at this time it's an accidental fire, but due to the
condition of both victims, we're unable to get a statement,"
The girl suffered burns to 60 percent of her body, and the woman
suffered burns to 16 percent of her body, she said. They both were
airlifted to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, where they
Firefighters put out the fire within a minute of arriving,
officials said. The home sustained minimal damage.
Even treating lice properly can be dangerous, said Amy Kirkconnell,
a pharmacist at Lansing Community Pharmacy.
"Years and years ago people used things like gasoline, but now you
should stay away from home treatments," she said.