Warning as Aussie man suffers life-long injuries in wedding proposal mistake

It was meant to be the most memorable night of Adam Boots' life, but a bonfire wedding proposal quickly turned into a cautionary tale.

Adam Boots was trying to light a fire with petrol when it
Adam Boots was trying to make his proposal more magical, but it blew up in his face. Source: 9News

He'd planned on it being the most romantic night of his life, but what started as an intimate wedding proposal ended in a weeks-long stay in hospital and permanent injuries for one Aussie man, after a horrifying bonfire "explosion" sent his romantic gesture up in flames.

South Australian dad Adam Boots, from Clare Valley, north of Adelaide, said he was "rushing" to start a bonfire to set the scene to propose to his partner when he made the almost deadly decision to use petrol to get it going. Boots said he'd "leant down and reached in" to the flame to douse it when it "just exploded" in his face.

The 28-year-old suffered severe burns to his legs, arms and face and was hospitalised for three weeks. He was left with permanent damage to his skin and now has a warning for all Aussies this winter.

The SA father-of-two was hospitalised for two months and left with severe burns to his face, arms and body. Source: 9News
The SA father-of-two was hospitalised for two months and left with severe burns to his face, arms and body. Source: 9News

The young father is still recovering from his stupid mistake – something he expects will affect him the rest of his life.

"The pain was quite excruciating, especially on the face," Boots told 9News, adding that more than six months on, he still feels the impacts of that night. The father-of-two said his skin is still particularly sensitive to the sun, especially "in the summertime" when his "face is quite delicate to the heat".

His ordeal has prompted a warning from authorities to practice caution around open flames, especially in the presence of children.

A bonfire is seen at a beach, amid a warning from authorities to practice caution around open flames.
The SA father's accident has prompted a warning from health authorities to practice caution around open flames, especially around children. Source: Getty

Kidsafe SA said in particular parents should be wary of fire pits, as children tend to be "drawn toward the open flame" and their "small size often means they're positioned very close" to it.

More than 500 children were treated in hospitals across SA for burns last year, with similar figures seen in other states around the country.

Boots said the accident has now left him extremely wary around fires. "Don't use accelerants, be very cautious of it," he said.

He did end up proposing to his partner in the end, though the second time around it was from his hospital bed.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.