Spencer Cronin said he was walking home from school on the 2200 block of Linda Way when he saw his friends playing with tanks of gasoline and a lighter.
“I saw that they were getting out gasoline and I was trying to tell them to stop,” Spencer said. “They caught on fire and I was trying to get back away from them and I told them to stop, drop and roll.”
The nine-year-old said his shoes caught fire, but he rolled on the ground and put out the flames. He wasn’t burned, but the hair on his legs was singed.
Karen Cronin, Spencer’s mother, showed us the pants Spencer was wearing. They had no burns, but smelled of gasoline.
Cronin spoke with the family of Tayton Winward, another boy burned in the fire, and said the flames were powerful.
“The flash of fire was so intense it just went up the legs and didn’t burn the pants,” she said.
Blake and Teresa Glovers are Taton’s grandparents. They said the seven-year-old has second degree burns on his face and third degree burns on his body.
“He’s just a curious and energetic kid and that’s probably what happened today,” Blake said. “He just got curious with other boys when they saw the gas cans and thought it would be fun. They probably had no idea what they were getting themselves into.”
Doctors will take skin graphs from Tayton’s legs on Friday at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake.
Three other boys, under age 10, remain at the same hospital with burns to their bodies.
Cronin said her thoughts and prayers are with the four other boys. She is thankful her son walked away without a scratch.
“I’m feeling really grateful,” Spencer added. “I think I had a guardian angel that could have been my grandpa because he just recently passed away.”