Parents, two kids on mend after firepit mishap that killed baby

·2 min read

Four members of a family badly burned in a backyard firepit mishap in Port Burwell last week are showing signs of improvement in hospital, a family friend says.

Jake Hiebert and Tina Hiebert and three of their children suffered severe injuries during a family cookout at a relative’s house on July 12 in Port Burwell, southeast of London.

The children — two girls, ages seven and one, and a four-year-old boy — suffered life-threatening injuries, and the parents, 33-year-old Jake and 28-year-old Tina, were seriously injured, police said at the time of the fire. The one-year-old girl, Layla, died in hospital Thursday morning.

Eva Enns, a family friend who organized an online fundraiser for the Hiebert family, shared that the conditions of each family member was improving as of Sunday evening.

“Jake’s burns are much better. The swelling has gone done on his face,” she said on the fundraising page.

“Tina is stable and they are hoping to lessen the sedation” on Monday.

The four-year-old boy also remains in stable condition, Enns said, adding “his grafting surgery went well.”

Tina Hiebert and her son underwent skin grafts, a procedure that uses healthy skin cells from an unaffected part of the burn victim’s body to replace lost or damaged cells, covering the wound and speeding healing.

The seven-year-old girl has been moved to a Toronto hospital with her brother. “She was hungry for food, which is a great sign of improvement,” Enns said.

The parents are being treated in London.

It was about 7 p.m. on July 12 when the Hieberts were having a cookout in the backyard of a Vienna Line home in Port Burwell and fuel was added to the fire, a relative told the London Free Press. The details around the injuries that followed are not clear.

The OPP and Ontario Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of the mishap.

The online fundraiser had raised nearly $67,300 as of Monday.


The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press

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