Girl Sent To Staten Island University Hospital Burn Unit In Serious Condition

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sixth grade boy at a Brooklyn elementary school was accused of setting a girl’s hair on fire with a lighter at a park near the school Tuesday afternoon.

As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, witnesses said the boy was goofing off and playing with a lighter at the Bildersee Playground near I.S. 68 in Flatlands, walking and talking with a 14-year-old girl when suddenly, her curly hair was in flames.

“It was like flames. It was like real flames. If you see a tree on fire, it was like that,” said student Malcolm Joseph.

Students at the middle school said the boy tried to help.

“He was hitting his book bag on her head to make the smoke come off,” said student Lorena Theodore.

“It was not working,” Joseph added. “It was just making it worse.”

Someone ran over with water and a fire extinguisher to get the fire out, but to no avail. The girl’s hair was gone, and she was in pain.

“She was crying,” Joseph said. “Her scalp was burned and everything.”

The city Department of Education is calling the incident an altercation between the two kids and said the boy could face disciplinary action. But witnesses said it was all an accident, and said the boy apologized profusely on Facebook after the incident.

“It was an accident,” Joseph said. “I think he learned his lesson to stop playing with fire.”

The girl was taken to the Staten Island University Hospital Burn Unit, where she was reported in serious, but stable, condition with second- and third-degree burns to her head and neck.

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