Fernandina Beach, FL – Shannon Malcom, News-Leader
A 10-year-old boy was injured in a gas explosion Monday morning as he was unplugging the lights on a Christmas tree. The boy was taken to Baptist Medical Center Nassau, where he was treated and released later that day.
The explosion occurred just before 8 a.m. at 2810 Laguna Drive, Fernandina Beach, the home of local attorney Dawn Latham.
Fernandina Beach Fire Marshal Jeffrey Bunch said a faulty gas line leading to a fireplace in the living room was to blame for the incident.
“Luckily no one was seriously injured,” Bunch said. “This could have been a very tragic incident.”
Bunch said the gas line had a tear in its insulation, possibly ever since the home was built in 1997.
When the boy, Latham’s son, unplugged the lights on the tree, the resulting spark hit “just in the perfect spot to touch that gas line,” Bunch said.
Bunch said the boy was conscious and walking around at the scene, where he was treated by Fernandina Beach Fire Rescue medical workers.
His mother later took him to the hospital.