A Florida mother of five has died and her 11-year-old son has been taken to the hospital after suffering burns to almost 100 percent of his body in a horrific fire pit accident in her backyard.
Nicole Foltz, 38, and her husband Jeff set a fire in their Tarpon Springs home last month to disperse the dead, WFTS reported. These bugs, when they were hanging out there with their friends.
Jeff said the fire went out briefly when he walked in and Nicole tried to reignite it.
He told Fox 13 News: “I just went in and as far as I know, she decided to try and keep the fire going, to keep the fun going, and she put another log on it, but there was no flame at all.”
“But I’m guessing, she just thought she poured a little gas on it and it would re-ignite, and it did. I guess it must have moved up the airflow to the gas tank and exploded in her hand,” Jeff explained road.
He told WFTS that his panicked wife “actually stopped, fell and rolled like you’re supposed to do.”
Despite her best efforts, she was engulfed in flames, burning almost 100% of her body. She died three days after the accident on November 14.
Their 11-year-old son Jeffrey suffered second- and third-degree burns to about 40 percent of his body and spent 12 days in the hospital, according to media reports.
“I never left his side in the hospital and it was difficult, especially because I felt sorry for the other kids there. I could see no one who could be at your bedside 24/7,” Foltz told WFTS.
The boy recently returned home where he continues to recover from serious injuries.
“He’s been strong. I’m sure the whole crew there were really surprised when we got home two days later and heard he could walk,” his father told Fox 13.
According to the family’s GoFundMe account, the tragic mother was a longtime server and manager of Tarpon’s Tavern.
“Her big smile always filled the room. She was always there for everyone – every relative, every friend, every client, every co-worker, every birthday, every anniversary, everyone’s day ,” wrote fundraiser organizer Dan Jenkin.
“We will miss Nicole, but our memory of her is forever,” he added.
Tavern owner Ania Bozena also thought of her beloved staff.
“She absolutely loves her job and everybody loves her, not only for her hard work, but for her personality and friendship,” she told Fox 13.
“To her wonderful husband, Jeff, she was a devoted wife. But most of all, she was a great mother who always put family first,” Bozener added.
On Friday night, Tarpon Tavern and its sister restaurant, The Bistro, donated 10 percent of their proceeds to the devastated family.
Foltz described Nicole to WFTS as “one of the nicest, most genuine people around. There’s a fierceness about her. Everyone loves her.”
He urged people to understand and practice fire safety.
“I don’t want to read about other people’s families having to go through this. It’s unthinkable,” he told WFTS. “It’s just one of those pointless things that you don’t want happening in your household … Gasoline is no joke when it comes to fires. You have to be careful or just don’t do it.”
He said the family would turn the fire pit into a bird bath, something Nicole has always wanted in the backyard.