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Deputies: 1 dead, 6 hospitalized after Christmas day campfire explosion in Suwannee County

Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 23:22:27-05

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — The Suwannee County Sheriff's office says one woman has died, and six others are hospitalized after a campfire accident on December 25.

On Dec. 25, around 8 p.m., SCFR says, crews were dispatched to the Old Sugar Mill neighborhood with reports of an explosion with multiple persons injured.

On arrival, they found a campfire burning and several persons around it that had sustained burn injuries that required medical attention.

The cause is under investigation.

Last night around 8:00 pm SCFR crews were dispatched for an explosion with multiple persons burned. On arrival they...

Posted by Suwannee Fire Rescue on Saturday, December 26, 2020

Fire Rescue says that bonfires are common as temperatures drop, but starting and putting them out properly can be the difference between life and death.

Staying clear of buildings is a top priority, giving at least 10 to 15 feet of distance.

Ensure your fire is not near any bushes, shrubs, or plants that can easily catch fire.

Fire experts say too large of a campfire can get out of control. You want a small area with fresh soil to prevent spreading.

Suwannee County's Fire Chief says most incidents with bonfires happen when an accelerant is used.

"Definitely do not try to use any type of accelerants to start it or any flammable liquids of any kind. The vapors off of that can ignite and cause, you know, serious injuries," said Chief Eddie Hand.

Chief Eddie Hand warns plants are dryer in the winter and can act as fuel for out of control fires.

Fire Rescue says never leave a bonfire unattended or try to put it out yourself if it gets out of control.

They ask that people call 9-1-1 immediately.

This is a developing story.