The girl is currently listed in "serious condition," and has been transported to Legacy Oregon Burn Center where she is receiving treatment for third-degree burns on her neck, chest, arms, and earlobes (Photo : Reuters)
No one had an answer; doctors were astonished. Just how did an 11-year-old girl spontaneously catch fire while she was receiving care in a Portland, Ore. hospital?
The little girl, a cancer-survivor named Ireland Lane, was being treated at Doernbecher Children's Hospital for an unrelated head injury, ABC News reported.
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Lane had been innocently painting in her room, when suddenly her T-shirt burst into flames, sending her running into the hallway screaming in panic. Nurses and other staff were able to successfully extinguish the blaze, but no one is certain just how the fire began.
"I've been in medicine going back 30 years now and never heard anything like this. And hopefully I never will again," said Dr. Stacy Nicholson, physician-in-chief at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, KATU reported.
"Our safety experts are working closely with the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office on its investigation," said Nicholson in a statement to ABC News. "We anxiously await the their findings and will certainly make adjustments if the cause was preventable."
Authorities are investigating if static electricity combined with hand sanitizer was to blame for the spontaneous fire, a spokesman for the Oregon State Fire Marshal said to ABCNews. Lane said she had used hand sanitizer to clean a roll-away table that allowed her to paint in bed, according to the Oregonian.
Lane is currently listed in "serious condition," and has been transported to Legacy Oregon Burn Center where she is receiving treatment for third-degree burns on her neck, chest, arms, and earlobes, the Oregonian reported. She is scheduled to have a second skin graft Thursday, the same day as her 12th birthday.
"She's quite a tough one," said Stephen Lane, Ireland's father, to the Oregonian. "She's been through more than any child I've ever heard of, and to still walk around with a smile on her face and enjoy the things of the day that are going on, and be a kid is to me pretty amazing."
Ireland doesn't remember the fire, but she "still has bad dreams," her father said, ABC News reported.
But while his daughter may have seemingly put the incident behind her, Stephen Lane says the moment still haunts him.
"I can handle all of it - I'm a dad and I'm supposed to," Lane explained to the Oregonian. "But I hate seeing her unhappy stuck in a hospital again."