Nathalie, VA - A controlled trash burn almost turned deadly in Nathalie over the weekend.
A four-year-old boy was badly burned when a spray paint can thrown on top of that trash pile exploded - launching debris right at the child's face. Family members did not want to go on camera, but they say he is doing better now after coming through such a scary experience.
First responders say a call came in that a child had been burned after a spray paint can on top of the trash heap exploded while he was playing nearby. The child was airlifted to the UVA burn center in Charlottesville with burns on 40 percent of his face.
Family members say they do not know how the paint can got added to the pile.
According to Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders, trash burning is allowed in areas of the county that are far from collection sites, but he says all burns should be at least 150 feet from an occupied building.
He says residents must take precautions when burning household waste to avoid hazardous materials and compressed cans, but most importantly, always keep children at a safe distance.
"Children should never be allowed to play with fire or come close to fire - or within proximity of something burning - simply because there is too much of a risk of something escaping, " Saunders said.
Saunders says it is best to check local ordinances and notify emergency personnel before starting a controlled burn.