Page 15 - Hot_News_Nov_2015
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A teenager from Kirkby whose clothes went on fire after an aerosol was thrown on to a bonfire backed our bonfire safety campaign.
Following his ordeal, Curtis Delacour, 16, urged young people not to build bonfires but to attend an organised fireworks display.
The teenager was out with friends near a bonfire that had been built in Northwood Forest Hills in Kirkby, not far from his home, when the incident happened earlier this year.
He was carrying a canister of petrol, which had no lid, when someone threw an aerosol
can on to the bonfire.
The bonfire exploded and he fell backwards causing petrol to spill over his clothes. Vapour from the petrol ignited, setting his clothes on fire.
Curtis said: “Someone threw deodorant into the fire and it exploded.
“As it exploded, I fell backwards with the can of petrol in my hands and it had no lid on.
“The petrol went all over me and my clothes caught fire.
“I was scared. I thought it was going to burn to death and was panicking.
“I took my top off but couldn’t get my jeans off and rolled on the floor and it went out.
“The top I was wearing had burned but luckily I got that off on time but my jeans were stuck to my leg.
The Be the Good Guy Campaign was launched in St Helens once again this year asking residents to report any build-ups of combustible waste and street bonfires.
Our Service and agencies, including St Helens Council, Merseyside Police, Helena Partnerships, Riverside and others worked together to keep residents in St Helens safe.
St Helens Council’s Trading Standards also encouraged Good Guy retailers to come forward and limit their selling period of fireworks, to help cut down on noise pollution and fireworks misuse.
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Urban
Regeneration, Housing, Planning and Community Safety said: “No one is trying to be a killjoy, but street bonfires can be dangerous and unpredictable - and can often fuel anti-social behaviour and firework misuse.”
Watch Manager Ian Mullen, MF&RS Arson Reduction Co- ordinator, said: "Our key message this year was stay safe and have fun. We want to drive down deliberate, anti-social, nuisance fires during the bonfire period but we need help from people in the community to do this.”
Neil Fairhurst, Helena Partnerships Neighbourhood Manager said: “Through our continued involvement in Operation Good Guy we work closely with a range of valued partners to make sure our neighbourhoods, and in particularly vulnerable people living in our communities, stay safe each year.”
Curtis Delacour is pictured after he was injured when an aerosol was thrown on to a bonfire.
He was also burnt on the top of his other leg and has scars from burns to his hands.
Curtis, who has now started a college course, said: “I was stupid for playing with fire. It was scary.
“I would say to other people don’t do it, it’s stupid. You think that you’re not going to get burnt. I didn’t think it was that easy for petrol to explode.
“I used to always light fires there and nothing ever happened but then this happened. I won’t go near fire again.
“I’m safer when I do something now and I think of the dangers.”
Watch Manager Ian Mullen, MF&RS Arson Reduction Co-ordinator, added: “This is an example of how bonfires can get out of control very easily and have consequences that people have to live with for the rest of their lives.”
“I ran home. My aunty wrapped wet towels around my legs and called an ambulance.”
After initially being taken to Aintree Hospital he was then transferred to Whiston Hospital.
Our Service received a call following the incident earlier this year. Arson Reduction Advocate Carol Peeney later visited his home to offer fire safety advice.
The teenager was left with a 27cm burn on the top of one of his legs and the back of his thigh, which will leave him with a scar for life.
Bonfire Safety Film
Our Service launched a film for schools across Merseyside advising children and young people about the dangers around Bonfire Night.
It has been designed as an education and awareness tool for primary and secondary schools.
It tells the story of a teenage boy injured after an aerosol can is thrown on to a bonfire.
A version aimed at young people of secondary school age shows the story from the point of view of the teenager.
The primary school version of the video tells the story from the perspective of the boy’s younger sister.
Both videos are available to view on our Service YouTube page at .
A fire crew and prevention staff in St Helens at the launch of the Be the Good Guy Campaign in St Helens. Photo by Lyndsay Young.

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