Police: Child badly burned after Florida man throws gun powder into fire pit

A Central Florida man was arrested after police say he threw gun powder into a fire pit and it exploded, burning him and his small son.

Walter Fallen of Eustis is charged with one count of child abuse. 

According to an arrest affidavit, officers responded to a home on Jackson St. on Dec. 29 to investigate a report of a fire pit exploding in the backyard. When they arrived, they say Fallen came out of the bathroom with just a towel on and appeared pale with burn injuries across his body. 

A 3-year-old child also came out of the bathroom crying and covered with a wet towel.

MORE NEWS: 2 arrested for murder of 78-year-old man at CVS in Orlando, deputies say

Fallen reportedly told officers that he was trying to light off mortar using a sparkler stick and when he tossed it in the fire pit, it exploded. 

The child, who suffered second and third degree burns, was taken to Arnold Palmer hospital by helicopter and then the University of Florida Hospital in Gainesville. 

The arrest report states that the officer went into the backyard and found mangled can that read ‘gun powder’ and a sparkler. The redacted report states that they were trying to toast bagels over the fire because they do not have a toaster inside the home. 

The officer did not find any bagels. 

The report states that Fallen poured a can of lighter fluid in the pit and when he lit the match, it exploded with the child standing near him. 

MORE NEWS: Florida boy hauls in two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles on fishing trip

However, another witness interviewed by an officer said Fallen poured gun powder directly into the fire and it exploded. When asked if they were told to lie to authorities, the report states that Fallen told them to "always lie to police officers."

Officers determined that Fallen poured gun powder into the fire pit while his son was standing next to him, according to the report. It says Fallen has no prior convictions for child abuse.  

Click here for the latest Central Florida news, Florida stories and local headlines. 

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates.