Dad watches daughter, 10, 'go up in flames' in pool party tragedy

·3-min read

A 10-year-old girl is fighting for her life after a tragic and fiery accident during a family gathering. 

The family was hosting relatives and friends for a BBQ pool party on Sunday (local time) at their home in the US state of Arizona, when a leaking propane tank caught fire and sent flames exploding into the sky. 

Isla Cook, 10, "ended up receiving the brunt of the 10-foot (about three metres) flames", according to a GoFundMe set up for the little girl. 

Isla Cook is pictured left. On the right is a photo of her covered in bandages in a hospital bed after a gas tank caught fire in Arizona.
Isla Cook, 10, is fighting for her life after a gas tank caught fire at a BBQ pool party. Source: GoFundMe

She received severe second and third-degree burns to nearly half her body. 

She was rushed to hospital in Phoenix where she would have to undergo surgeries and likely multiple skin grafts. 

"It's tragic, an absolute tragic situation and watching my daughter go up in flames, it's the hardest thing I ever had to do," Isla's father Justin told US news outlet AZFamily.com.

Her mother, Alyssa, said she wanted to see her daughter "out of pain".

Peoria Fire Captain Mark Barbee said incidents like this were more common than people thought.

"Keep those kids away from the barbecues. Keep the actual barbecue at least 10 feet (about three metres) away from the house. Make sure the rubber hoses are intact and they're in good shape," he said.

He urged people to monitor the pressure of the tank and to make sure the handle was secure to keep themselves and others safe.

The leaking propane gas bottle caught fire, sending flames three metres into the sky. Source: Getty Images, file
The leaking propane gas bottle caught fire, sending flames three metres into the sky. Source: Getty Images, file

Long recovery ahead for young Isla

The GoFundMe for Isla said best case scenario she would be able to leave the burns unit in a month.

"Worst case scenario is that Isla will need skin grafts from cadavers and could be in this burn unit for ten months," the fundraising page said.

"This is a very excruciating beginning of what will be a painfully long process."

Isla is the eldest of five children who is a "huge help" to her mother, particularly with her twin siblings aged one.

"She is always thinking of others and is often finding ways to do acts of service for her family and friends," according to the GoFundMe.

"She is so much fun and has a bold, playful personality. She loves to bake all kinds of yummy treats and loves to sing and play the piano.

"The thing she loves the very most is gymnastics... she dedicates several hours a day to gymnastics... she is basically a rockstar."

The GoFundMe was set up to pay her medical bills, with the wrapping and re-bandaging costing between $8000 and $10,000 each time.

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