Burned tot may lose fingertips

By Kiri Gillespie

The Papamoa toddler who fell into a fire inside a swimming pool during Easter weekend may lose his fingertips as a result of serious burns.

Declan Marshall, aged 1, suffered burns to his hands and feet after falling into the fire his grandfather lit at his Edgecumbe home on Good Friday.

Declan was flown to Middlemore Hospital where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit at the weekend.

Grandfather John Pledger told the Bay of Plenty Times he blamed himself but it was "all about the young fella at the moment".

Mr Pledger said there was a lot of family supporting his daughter, Declan's mother, in Auckland but he had not gone up himself. "They've got aunties, brothers and sisters. We don't want to be poking our noses in to it. We keep in contact by texting and phone," he said.

The family will meet with the surgeon on Friday, where the future regarding Declan's fingertips was expected to be known.

"They are not sure ... his hands are badly burned."

Mr Pledger said he lit rubbish inside the pool to get rid of it before rain was expected to fall.

He said he did not want the risk of Declan or his brothers, 2 and 4, falling into water and drowning, he said.

It was not known how the children gained access to the pool area, which was gated.

It was thought Declan followed his brothers.

"Everybody panicked. We all did, especially [Declan] being such a young one," Mr Pledger said.

Declan's father pulled him out of the fire and into a bathtub containing cold water.

Emergency services guided Declan's parents through first aid while the family waited for an ambulance.

"They didn't even have an ambulance in Edgecumbe. We had to wait 15 minutes for one to come from Whakatane," Mr Pledger said.

"That seemed like an hour to me. I was pacing the street just waiting for the ambulance to come.

"The little fella was screaming," he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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