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Teen burned by fire dies

November 10, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

FAIRPLAY - A Fairplay teenager who fought to recover from injuries he suffered during a campfire accident nearly a month ago died Friday night.

A spokesman at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati said Dustin Smith, 16, a burn patient, was pronounced dead Friday at approximately 11:30 p.m. The spokesman would not confirm the cause of Smith's death.

Carl E. Parrott, the coroner for Hamilton County, Ohio, could not be reached for comment late Sunday.

Smith was listed in critical condition for approximately four weeks following an Oct. 11 incident while attempting to light a campfire. Neighbors told investigators they heard an "explosion" as the gasoline vapors ignited, and saw Smith, who suffered third-degree burns, running from the campfire, according to a news release from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

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The incident occurred in the 17500 block of Spielman Road, Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said.

Ernst said Wednesday that Smith was burned over at least 80 percent of his body, including his arms, face and legs. He said Smith initially was placed on a breathing machine because his airways were damaged and swollen.

Ernst said Smith was flown to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center on the evening of the campfire accident.

On Oct. 23, Smith was stabilized and flown to the burn center in Cincinnati. Since then, Smith's parents (Bill and Trudy Smith) had stayed at their son's side in Ohio.

Meanwhile, at home, members of the community rallied to attempt to help the family.

Family friends had set up a charitable account through M&T Bank to help offset the medical and travel costs the Smiths incurred. Also, Trudy Smith's co-workers at Boat U.S. West Marine on Longmeadow Road, raised $2,000 during a seven-hour bake sale on Oct. 25.

Bill and Trudy Smith could not be reached by telephone at their home Sunday evening.

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