Oct 12, 2011 11:13 PM by Maddie Garrett

Toddler Survives Gas Container Explosion

A one-year-old girl from New Iberia is recovering after she was burned by a gas can explosion.

David Bellard, Jr. said he was sitting outside in a go-cart with his young daughter, Jeannette Bellard, Tuesday afternoon, when he said she got up to chase a cat.

"When I turned back the other way, because she got out my vision, I turned back to look at her, the gas can blew up. It was a freak accident," said David Bellard.

The toddler was burned on her face and side. As of Wednesday night, about 15% - 17% of her body is burned. Doctors told the family it's still a second degree burn, but could be upgraded to a third degree burn in the next few days.

"Nobody wanted this to happen, this was an accident it was a freak accident, we didn't mean for this to happen, she's loved by everybody," said Jeannette's father.

David said luckily his brother, James Bellard, was also outside at the time.

"I seen her burning and I rushed to her and I put it out... I patted the fire off of her and wrapped her in my arms and smothered it," recounted James Bellard.

"Thank god for my brother, godfather, he seen her on fire, and he jumped and he got to her before I can," said David Bellard.

But what exactly caused that gas container to combust is still a mystery. The family said it just went up in flames.

"it just blew up, the gas can, it didn't have no gas in it or nothing," said James Bellard.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office said the exact cause is still under investigation but it appears to be an accident.

"What they say is being the gas can was close to another chair it threw off static electricity, which caused the gas, the fumes to ignite which caused the combustion," explained David Bellard.

Jeannette is being treated at Baton Rouge General Hospital, and the family said she is expected to make a full recovery.



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