A 17-year-old boy has been described as brave and quick to react after he put out a fire which had spread to his mother’s clothing on Monday before she suffered severe burns. The police believe he may even have saved her life.
Landspítali is the building to the left. Photo by Dagbjört Oddný Matthíasdóttir.
The incident occurred on the upper floor of a townhouse in Kópavogur, near Reykjavík, when the woman lit a fire in her ethanol fireplace.
When she ignited the lighter, an explosion occurred and fire immediately spread to furniture and her clothing, visir.is reports.
Her son saw what had happened, grabbed a blanket and managed to put out the fire in his mother’s clothing. He then called the fire department and helped her out of the burning building.
The woman, who is in her fifties, was immediately brought to the ER and firefighters managed to extinguish the fire in a short time.
After first aid treatment in the ER, the woman was taken to the Landspítali national hospital’s burn ward where she will remain for a few days.
A plastic surgeon told Fréttablaðið that the burns, which were most severe on the woman’s right arm and part of her face, were not particularly deep and will therefore probably not cause significant scarring. Surgery may not be necessary if the wounds are allowed to heal.
Considerable damage was caused to the apartment’s interior, both due to fire and smoke.
Ethanol fireplaces have become common in Icelandic homes and the police ask people to strictly follow the user’s guide. Following the fire, the Consumer Agency has decided to look into the risk caused by ethanol fireplaces.