A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy was rushed to hospital with burns to his face after being hit by debris shot out by an explosion in a bonfire.

George Thomasson was enjoying the Bonfire Night festivities on Tuesday evening with a group of family and friends in the garden of his aunt’s home in Dunsop Drive, Johnson Fold, when he was hit in the ear and neck.

It is not clear what caused the explosion but it led to a piece of burning refuse severely burning the youngster.

Despite experiencing a particularly busy night, fire crews rushed to the scene at around 8.15pm.

George was treated by firefighters at the home and was taken to hospital by his family. He was released from A&E later that night and is recovering at home.

Speaking after the incident, the boy’s mother Kerry Harwood said he had been “lucky” to get away with relatively little damage to his face.

The Bolton News:

“It could have been a lot worse,” she told The Bolton News.

“He was terrified at the time. He couldn’t calm down. He was terrified of the firefighters and the doctors.

“We had all the children there and they were panicking, shouting and running around. They didn’t know what was going on.”

Ms Harwood’s partner, John Cochrane explained that the group had been enjoying Bonfire Night after setting off fireworks at the back of the home and were watching the fire when things went wrong.

He said: “All of the young ones were stood at the back wall of the house, well away from the fire.

“It was going fine but then something got put on the fire, we don’t know what it was but it exploded and it hit him.”

George was not able to recall exactly what happened to him but remembered throwing a small amount of cardboard onto the fire before something shot out and hit him.

The youngster is expected back at the burns unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary today to have his wounds assessed.

He suffered damage to his neck and his ear and burns on his arm.

The Bolton News:

Bolton North Fire Station crew manager John Wheeldon said the incident was one of a number of calls received by his team on a busy Bonfire Night, including several unattended bonfires and young vandals who had set fire to bins.

The firefighters were able to get to the home much more quickly than paramedics, who were extremely busy, so they treated George themselves before advising he should be taken to hospital.

Mr Wheeldon said: “There was a bonfire in a rear garden and there was an explosion from the bonfire.

“We don’t know what caused it - and that caused something to be thrown from the fire.

“He suffered burns to his right ear, his neck and his left forearm.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has urged anyone who wants to see a fire to visit a public event which has already been arranged rather than setting a fire at a property.

Mr Wheeldon added: “We always recommend that it’s much safer to go to an organised bonfire or firework display rather than having one at home.”

For more information on the best way to keep safe around fireworks and bonfires, visit: www.manchesterfire.gov.uk.