A Florida mother of five died and her 11-year-old son was seriously injured in a backyard fire pit accident.
Nicole Foltz, 38, was reportedly involved in a fire pit accident in the backyard of her home in Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County, last month, killing 95 percent of her children. The body was burned.
The mother died in hospital three days after the incident and the community is now rallying around her family as they prepare for Christmas in the absence of the woman they dubbed “Sunshine”
The woman’s husband, Jeffrey Foltz, recalled that they were playing outside with their children and friends when the backyard caught fire on Nov. 14.
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He told FOX 13 Tampa: “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 then she put another log on top of it, but it didn’t have much of a flame at all.” “However, I guess she just thought that if she poured a little gas on it, it would re-ignite, and it did. I think it must have moved up the airflow to the gas tank and exploded in her hand.”
The blast also hit Fultz’s 11-year-old son, who were both taken to Tampa General Hospital.
The boy suffered second-degree burns to nearly 40 percent of his body, Jeffrey Foltz said.
He was hospitalized for 12 days and only recently returned home.
“He’s been going strong. I’m sure the whole crew there was pretty surprised when we got home two days later and heard he was able to walk,” Fultz Sr. told FOX 13.
“I never left his side in the hospital and it was difficult, especially because I felt sorry for the other kids there. I can understand how it feels to have no one at your bedside 24/7,” says the father, now a widower Also told WFTS-TV.
“It’s just one of those nonsensical things you don’t want happening in your family,” he added. “Gasoline fires are no joke. You have to be careful or don’t do it.”
“I don’t want to read about other people’s families having to go through this. It’s unthinkable,” he said.
The family plans to turn the fire pit into a birdbath, something Mom has always wanted.
“Accidents do happen, and they can ruin your life,” Jeffrey Fultz told FOX 13. “She touched people in ways I couldn’t even fathom.”
“Just around, one of the nicest, genuine people. She was fierce to her. Everyone loved her,” he said.
Nicole Foltz is the manager and server at Tarpon Tavern, which started as a fundraiser for her family.
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“She always puts a smile on everyone’s face,” says Ania Bozena, owner of Tarpon Tavern. “She absolutely loves her job and everyone loves her, not just for her hard work, but for her personality and friendship.”
“She was a devoted wife to her wonderful husband, Jeff. But most of all, she was a great mother who always put family first,” Bozener added. “We miss her dearly at Tarpon Tavern and our sister restaurant next door, The Bistro.”