06/17/07 — Baby hurt in fire

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Baby hurt in fire

By Lee Williams
Published in News on June 17, 2007 2:00 AM

A 2-month-old baby boy was burned in a fire that broke out around noon Friday at Casey's Trailer Park on U.S. 70 East.

Guadalupe Garnica, 18, and her infant son, Jose Hernandez Jr., were inside of their mobile home at 5276 U.S. 70 East when the window air conditioner unit ignited, said Steve Turner, the baby's grandfather.

"The air conditioner exploded, and the fire got on the baby," said Turner of Pink Hill, who arrived at the home shortly after the fire with his wife, Marie, to pick up diapers and formula for the baby.

Flames from the air conditioning unit burned the infant on his face, left arm and right leg, Turner said. The fire also burned the bed and damaged the back bedroom, which housed the baby's crib.

Wayne County Emergency Medical Services was dispatched to the home. However, Ms. Garnica and the infant had left for the hospital before they arrived, sources said.

"We're mad about what happened," Turner said.

He said the air conditioning unit didn't appear to be that old.

"Maybe they'll investigate and see what happened," he said.

Charred remnants including a burned air conditioner and bed lay scattered outside the mobile home. The scent of burning debris wafted through the air late Friday.

The cause of the fire was unavailable.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said fire investigators determined the fire was not suspicious in nature. The investigation will be handled by the El-Roy Volunteer Fire Department. However, El-Roy Volunteer Fire Chief Steve Mozingo was unavailable for comment.

Firefighters from the El-Roy, Pinewood and New Hope volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze at about 12:14 p.m. It didn't take long for firefighters to snuff out the fire, officials said.

"Social Services has been contacted in reference to the child getting burned," Winders said.