12-year-old Utah boy dies after suffering severe burns in backyard explosion

The child was using gasoline to fuel a backyard fire when the can exploded, authorities said.

A 12-year-old Utah boy has died after authorities say he suffered severe burns while using gasoline to fuel a fire in a backyard burn pit.

Firefighters first responded at about 4:30 p.m. Monday to a report of an explosion at the boy’s home near 900 North and 5000 West in West Point, according to the North Davis Fire District. When they arrived, the fire was out, but the boy had suffered severe burns over more than half his body.

Investigators determined the boy was using a can of gasoline to stoke the flames of a fire in the backyard burn pit, according to the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. The can exploded, leaving him severely injured.

The child was flown by helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he died Tuesday morning. He was not immediately identified.

The boy’s 50-year-old mother also suffered burns when she tried to save her son, police said. She was treated at McKay-Dee Hospital and released.

“Responding to this call and aiding the family on this tragic night will be a moment that will stay with our deputies and other first responders for a lifetime,” Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks said in a statement.

“We cannot begin to express our sincerest condolences to this family and those impacted by this terrible accident,” Sparks continued. “We mourn the loss of this young boy, and we grieve for his family, his schoolmates, and those who love him.”