A 15-year-old Schenectady High School sophomore suffered extensive burns in a Saturday evening bonfire accident in Washington County, state police and family said.
Raymond Winchell, III, was at a bonfire in Granville when someone put liquid fuel into the fire as Raymond stood on the other side. The fuel skipped across the fire, ignited and covered the teen, family said.
Raymond, who family said played on the Schenectady High School football team, suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, chest, hands and legs, amounting to about 30 percent of his body.
He was flown to Upstate Medical University’s Clark Burn Center in Syracuse for treatment. He underwent his first surgery of skin grafts Monday, according to aunt Mellissa Buskey of Schenectady.
Family have set up a GoFundMe page “Raymond’s burn care” to help Raymond’s family with bills, along with travel and other costs. The page had raised $1,600 by late Monday afternoon.
Supporters also set up a Facebook page for updates, “Support for Raymond W,” which had 127 people following it Monday.
Family members, including his parents and 2-year-old brother, have been with him in Syracuse, Buskey said. She said Raymond appears to be responding positively to their presence, especially his youngest brother.
“He’s going to have a long recovery,” Buskey said.
A state police spokesman said troopers responded to the accident and interviewed those present. They found no alcohol involvement and there didn’t appear to be any criminal culpability.
State police put the ages of two others present at 21 and 26.
At least a half-dozen cousins were at the bonfire, located on property owned by Raymond’s grandparents, Buskey said.
Cousins carried Raymond down a trail to await police and paramedics’ arrival, Buskey said. Two others suffered minor injuries, she said.
Buskey said her nephew faces several surgeries. He is expected to remain on a breathing tube for five to seven days and remain in Syracuse for at least four weeks, Buskey said.
Raymond’s father, Raymond Winchell, Jr., along with his mother, Nicole Canfield, and stepfather, Jim Canfield, were in Syracuse Monday with the teen, as was his youngest brother, Buskey said.
Buskey said Monday’s surgery went well. Some burns appeared worse than initally believed. Doctors also found burns to his throat. But Buskey said the hope is that the surgeries will be limited to two or three more, depending on how the skin grafts go.
She described Raymond as a fan of the Green Bay Packers.He previously attended school in Granville.
“He’s very shy, very very shy,” Buskey said, “but he has a really, really funny personality when he opens up.”
“He’s into football big time,” his aunt added.
Buskey said family hopes to put together fund-raiser events soon.
Categories: Schenectady County