Family explains how Schenectady teen was severely burned in bonfire

GRANVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Schenectady teenager is in a medically induced coma and in stable condition after being in an accident involving a bonfire in Washington County.

It was a family get together that turned into a terrible accident.

“They were having a bonfire,” Mellissa Buskey said. “It’s pretty typical.”

Buskey said her nephew, Raymond Winchell III, and his cousins were celebrating at a relative’s home Saturday night.

raymond winchell two

“They have get togethers, ride four-wheelers and get together on the property and stuff,” she said.

Around 7 p.m., Buskey said they started a fire to sit around. Robert Winchell is Raymond’s cousin. He was at the bonfire and described to NEWS10 ABC over the phone what happened after someone picked up a diesel can to pour more fuel onto the fire.

“The fire chased the diesel back to the can,” he explained. “And my cousin threw the can, and I’m assuming, when he threw the can, diesel sprayed; fuel sprayed out.”

Buskey said, somehow, the diesel covered Raymond.

“Luckily, we had a thing of Gatorade,” Robert said. “My cousin picked that up and dumped it on him.”

But Raymond was badly burned. He suffered second and third degree burns and is being treated in Syracuse.

“His whole face is covered,” Buskey said. “His chest, his thighs, and his hands are pretty bad.”

The 15-year old had skin grafts completed earlier in the week.

“He had a little set back [Tuesday] night,” Buskey said. “He had some fluid in his lungs. His oxygen was down.”

Medical bills will soon begin to grow.

“My sister was supposed to start work on Monday,” Buskey said. “Raymond’s father – his health isn’t good.”

“If you can even just send best wishes and prayers,” Buskey said.

Buskey said Raymond will remain in Syracuse for at least a few more weeks, but doctors are hopeful about his recovery.

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