PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A 12-year-old boy is now recovering after he was burned while building a bonfire with friends.
And Tuesday, the gas worker who rushed to his rescue spoke out for the first time.
Payton Brown was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital Monday night in critical condition and put in a drug-induced coma after burning his arms, chest, legs and enduring smoke burn in his lungs.
He was injured after an explosion and fire erupted in a burn pit in his backyard.
But the quick thinking of Brown’s older brother and a nearby utility crew are what likely saved his life.
Colombia Gas employee, Larry Jones, was working in an alley behind Fifth Avenue when he heard the explosion and screaming.
“And we felt it and we looked this way and I saw a plume of smoke,” Jones said.
He saw the fire spreading and his crew grabbed a fire extinguisher.
Brown was using an accelerator to get the fire started, which officials think was gasoline used for the family’s lawnmower, when it exploded.
“Well I just seen my brother in flames from his feet to his head,” Donavan Brown said.
“I saw Payton running, and he was on fire,” Jones said.
Brown’s brother and Jones started patting out the flames.
And Jones kept Brown calm as his mother called 9-1-1.
“I said, ‘bud, you have to stay still,’” Jones said. “And it’s gonna start to hurt real bad, real bad.”
Brown’s mom called Jones a miracle and a good man for what he did to help her son.
Two of the other boys with Brown at the time of the fire suffered minor burns and were treated and released from the hospital.
A fourth boy was unhurt.
Brown will stay in a medically-induced coma for several days and his condition has been upgraded from critical to fair.