Two kids seriously burned after coal was dumped from grill at Polk County lake

As parks all over the Tampa Bay area are getting busier this summer, one family is pleading with people to be more careful using shared amenities. It was a family vacation enjoying summer on a lake in Polk County when, in moments, two young cousins were rushed to the emergency room. 

"My little baby cousin ran up, because she heard my daughter screaming and before I could grab any water I heard her screaming. I went to grab her, she was flailing and stomping, and her feet got all tore up," said one of the girls' fathers, Adam Kersey. "In all honesty, whoever did it is a moron, they are of no common sense whatsoever."

The three and five-year-old cousins sustained bad burns after running over hot coals from a dumped grill by Lake Clinch in Frostproof.


The coals were dumped by a pavilion where the kids had been playing for hours on Saturday. The youngest child has second-degree burns. Her mother is heartbroken.

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"I was freaking out, and I shared the post on Facebook asking who did it, because it’s very irresponsible. She’s hurt," said one of the girls' mothers, Samantha Martin. "She’s been a tough little girl, she’s done way better than I thought… but it looks bad."


The family, now fuming over the incident, are warning people to be careful in shared areas.

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"Just think about everyone around you, especially if there’s kids around, somewhere kids will be every day. Be mindful, it could be your niece, your nephew, son, daughter… you want to care about that," said Martin.

Officials recommend cooling the coals with water or finding a designated space to dump the coal, which exists in many parks around the Tampa Bay area. No charges were filed against whoever dumped the grill debris. 


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