Mum speaks out on aerosol danger

York Press: Connor who was severely burned while playing with aerosols Connor who was severely burned while playing with aerosols

THE mother of a teenager who suffered 90 per cent burns while playing with an aerosol has spoken of her alarm at hearing about a ten-year-old being set on fire by children in York.

Connor Rowntree, now 18, was playing with the aerosol at friend’s home near Newcastle in 2009 when he was engulfed in flames. He spent nearly a year fighting for his life in hospital and has undergone over 100 reconstructive operations.

His mum, Carol, said she was horrified to read on The Press website about ten-year-old Gabriel Wishart, who was playing in Ashton Park in Clifton last week, when he was sprayed by a group of teenage boys who then set his clothes on fire.

The Burton Green Primary School pupil escaped uninjured as he dropped to the floor and rolled in the snow to put out the flames.

Mrs Rowntree said: “Kids think they are invincible and don’t think of the consequences until they are shown them.

“Thankfully, Gabriel is okay. If you can get hold of the kids involved and sit them down and show them what the consequences could be, if only one listened it would be worth it.

“Connor is burned from head to foot and is still going through operations now. His life will never be the same.”

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His accident happened in May 2009 when Connor, then 15, was engulfed in flames while playing with petrol and aerosols at a friend’s house.

He jumped out of a window to escape the blaze and his friend threw water over him to put out the fire.

Connor, of Houghton-le-Spring, now fronts a fire safety campaign in the North East and has been presented with bravery awards.

Police described the incident in York as “extremely concerning” and said they were undertaking extra patrols in the area.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team are progressing the investigation into this incident and are continuing to support the victim and his family.”

For more information visit The Connor Rowntree Project on Facebook.

The safety video featuring Connor and his family:

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