6-year-old suffers serious burns in garbage fire explosion

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

By Jay Compton



The family of a 6-year-old East Pineville boy is asking for prayers from the community after he suffered serious burns in an accident at his home Tuesday evening.

While garbage was being burned at a residence on Charlie Smith Road, just off Highway 119, the fire exploded unexpectedly, with debris hitting the 6-year-old and his 33-year-old mother.

WRIL reported that the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department and Bell EMS responded to the scene, and the 6-year-old was flown out to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, which has one of the top burn centers in the country.

The family has provided updates on Facebook through the child’s aunt, Shelley Southerland Brock, and is asking for continued prayers for Rhyder and the family.

“Our little ruff tough Rhyder needs your prayers! There was an accident at his home with a fire and he has burns on his face and arms and hand. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt where the burn team has already dressed his burns and he’s in ICU heavily sedated,” Brock posted at 2:30 Wednesday morning, adding that all of his vitals were really good and he’s intubated only to keep his pain down and allow him to rest. A camera was also ran down to his lungs to make sure there was no smoke damage or any blockages in the airway.

She said the burns to Rhyder’s left arm and hand are the worst, while doctors believe the burns to his face will heal more easily.

“They assured CJ and Ashley (parents) that he’s really doing good and they are very hopeful. They told mom and I they have seen many many burn victims and Rhyder looked good and has a lot better outlook,” Brock’s post continued. “I’ve only seen burn victims on TV and the facial swelling is so scary as they have to give him so much fluids which makes it even worse. It’s very hard to see our little guy like this so please when you pray, when they reassess his burns that God is already giving him new skin and he never feels that horrible pain.”

Brock added that “Ashley also has burns on her hands so she needs prayers as well and of course all of our hearts are breaking but I know we serve an amazing God and I’m believing in nothing but complete healing for our sweet boy! Thanks for all who have texted and called, we promise we see them all and appreciate you all so much! Love you all”

Wednesday afternoon Brock posted that the tube had been removed and Rhyder was breathing on his own.

“They talked with 3 surgeons from the burn team. They are looking at possibly doing skin graft surgery up close to his ear and on top of his hand around the wrist area but really want to wait a week because they are still hopeful of it healing on its own,” that post read. “Please pray for comfort and rest with no pain. Pray for complete healing and no surgery. We know We serve a big GOD and believe in complete healing for our tough guy! We love you BIG Rhyder!”