3-year-old Undergoes Surgeries after Sustaining Severe Burns

June 3, 2010

A Madison Heights toddler has many surgeries ahead after catching fire at a Memorial Day party in Buckingham County.

Family members said 3-year-old Kayla is being kept sedated after suffering second- and third-degree burns on her face, arms and chest.

"Everybody just loves her to death," said her step-grandmother, Alice Sales. "She's smart, she's just so smart and intelligent. I just can't imagine this ever happening."

Sales and her husband, Bob, say they're in contact with UVa's Burn Center on an hourly basis. They say their step-granddaughter Kayla went in for surgery for her burns on Thursday.

"I think they will take care of her neck and her chest first since that is the worst," Sales said. "They took the bandages off of her face yesterday, and just her lip and her nose, you know, was kinda burned."

The Buckingham County Sheriff's office says Kayla was set on fire at this home on Shelter Store Road. They say an 8-year-old boy was playing with an alcohol-based antifreeze and a lighter.

"We just have not determined at this point whether an actual crime has been committed, and hopefully further investigation will reveal one way or the other," said Christopher Fishburne of the Buckingham Co. Sheriff's Office.

It's the home of Kayla's maternal grandfather. Bob Sales said he is simply distraught and can't get the image out of his mind.

"He told me that he picked her up after the fire had been put out and she hollered 'Help me, Papa. Help me, help me.' And he's in terrible shape," Alice Sales said.

The Sales were anticipating celebrating her 4th birthday this August with a pool party. A brand new sliding board is waiting for her.

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