HOUSTON - An 11-year-old boy was severely burned while playing with rubbing alcohol in northeast Harris County.
Harris County Sheriff's investigators said Jesus Ledezma and three other children between 9 and 11 years old were using rubbing alcohol to set newspaper and pieces of trash on fire when the fire flashed, and the boy was burned.
He suffered second-degree burns on more than 50 percent of his body. He was hospitalized in stable condition at Shriners Hospital.
"Three months he's going to be in the hospital," said Juanita Medina, Jesus' grandmother.
The boy's 10-year-old sister, Isabelle Dezma, was also injured and burned on her arm. She was treated and released at the scene. She said she desperately tried to pat her brother down to stop the fire, but there was nothing she could do.
The incident happened in the 1500 block of Sandydale at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday across the street from the Grantham Academy, where neighbors said a football game was taking place.
"One of the parents who was across the street at the football function actually screamed and ran into the little boy's house," said neighbor Carmen Arzapala. "She started saying, 'Your son is on fire!' They were trying to roll him on the floor and put the fire out. (The boy) was in shock."
"I was just playing soccer outside and I saw my sister and brother catching fire," said Juan Rodriguez, Jesus' brother.
Juan, 12, sais he saw the moment went another boy who lives in the neighborhood sprayed Jesus and Isabelle with the rubbing alcohol.
"My brother was on his knees and he lit up," Juan said.
Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said the incident is under investigation. It's not yet known if any charges will be filed.
"It doesn't appear, at this point, any malicious intent, but we're still conducting an investigation. We will refer all four to a juvenile fire-starter's class. It's a day class to learn the dangers and fire safety," said Scott Schoonover, an arson investigator.
The boy, whose name was not released, attends Escamilla Intermediate School, 5341 East Mount Houston Road.
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