Published November 17, 2014
A Florida Boy Scout master reportedly gave his troop a first-hand safety lesson on Wednesday when he attempted to re-ignite a fire and ended up engulfed in flames.
Tom Birch, scoutmaster of Boy Scout troop 243, was participating in a flag retirement ceremony at Freedom Park in Naples on Wednesday when he reached a too far to restart a fire to dispose of the flags, NaplesNews.com reports.
Reached at home on Thursday, Birch said he expects a speedy recovery from the first- and- second-degree burns on his arm. He characterized the experience as an important lesson for the boys in the troop, who watched in surprise as he stopped, dropped and rolled.
"I think that it was important for them to see that accelerants can cause an injury and you have to be careful and I wasn’t, so I made a mistake,” Birch told the website. "I think the important thing is not to panic and to do what we’re taught — stop, drop and roll and put the fire out."
Naples Fire Department Battalion Chief Pete DiMaria said Birch leaned toward the barrel after the fire didn’t react to additional kerosene.