Orange County

Off-Duty Firefighter Helps Treat 10-Year-Old Girl Who Fell Into Beach Fire Pit

A 10-year-old girl was sent home Sunday after treatment of burns she sustained falling headfirst into a fire pit at a father-daughter gathering at the Newport Beach Dunes, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

Charlotte Chapin's accidental fall into the steel pit took place about 9:50 a.m. Saturday, during a YMCA-organized father-daughter camp-out taking place at the Dunes near Back Bay Drive off the Newport Beach coast, OCFA Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

"I think the scariest moment was when I realized I was falling," Chapin said.

She suffered from a range of injuries, including first, second and a few third-degree burns, with damage to her ribs, hip, wrist and hair when she fell into the pit, Concialdi said.

"It was like slow motion when she fell," the girl's father, Ted, said. "She was trying to move away. It was like I was in slow motion and I couldn't get to her quick enough."

She was immediately pulled out by one of the fathers at the camp-out event, and off-duty Orange County fire fighter Mike Heddleston, who was one of the parents at the Dunes, was able to pour cold water on the burns and wrap Chapin in a towel, according to OCFA.

Heddleston poured numerous bottles of water on the girl's burns in an effort to heal her.

"We didn't want to put ice because we don't want the patient cold, that pushes her closer to shock," he said. "We want to coll the burn, keep warm, keep her comfortable"

Newport Beach firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene and transported the girl to Orange County Global Medical Center's burn unit, where she was kept overnight for treatment and observation, Concialdi said.

"The family would like to thank Newport Beach Fire, (firefighter) Mike (Heddleston) & the staff at OC Global Burn Center for the great care she received," the OCFA tweeted Sunday.

The girl has been sent home, according to the OCFA.

Chapin offers one piece of advice to everyone after her experience -- take extra caution near fire.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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