Boy injured in house fire Monday night

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | 5:58 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An 11-year-old boy was in intensive care Tuesday afternoon at University Hospital after a house fire Monday night in northwestern Boone County.

The boy and his parents escaped the fire despite their smoke detectors' failure to sound, said Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District in a news release. The smoke detectors did not sound because they did not have batteries.

Dawn and Mark Skinner told fire crews they smelled smoke just after 11 p.m. in their home in Clark. Dawn Skinner immediately called 911.

The two escaped the home but realized that their son had not, Blomenkamp said. Mark Skinner returned to the boy's upstairs bedroom, found the boy unconscious and carried him back outside.

The call was dispatched at 11:05 p.m. Fire fighters from the district's Harrisburg fire station arrived on the scene at 11:25 p.m. Eight fire trucks and 25 firefighters responded to the scene.

Firefighters on the scene immediately provided medical care for the boy and his mother, who suffered from smoke inhalation.

Other firefighters quickly extinguished the hot spots of the fire, Blomenkamp said. Mark Skinner had used a dry chemical extinguisher to slow the progression of the fire before the fire fighters arrived.

The boy was airlifted to University Hospital and was in intensive care at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Blomenkamp said.

The fire appears to be accidental, Blomenkamp said. Investigators have not ruled out candles or a malfunction in a refrigerator power cord as possible causes.

The home incurred $30,000 to 35,000 in damages, Blomenkamp said.

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