Woman suffers severe burns when her skin went up in flames after hand sanitiser caught light

Woman suffers severe burns when her skin went up in flames after hand sanitiser caught light

September 4, 2020

A WOMAN suffered severe burns after claiming the hand sanitiser on her skin caught alight.

Kate Wise said she had just put her kids to bed and was lighting a candle when the flames ripped up her arm.

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In her panic the mum, from Texas, US, jumped back and knocked over a bottle of alcohol causing a "bomb-like" explosion.

She desperately managed to remove her burning clothes and get her disabled daughter and their pets out their home.

Meanwhile, one of her daughter's rushed to a neighbours' to call the emergency services.

Kate was rushed to intensive care at the weekend, where she continues to receive treatment for second and third degree burns covering her entire body.

She claims the fire was sparked after she used hand sanitiser, which she had bought to protect herself and her daughters from coronavirus.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Kate is now warning others against the dangers of using hand gels, which contain alcohol, so close to a naked flame.

The single mum told local TV network KHOU-TV: "It can be something as small as lighting a candle.

"Because of the hand sanitiser, it just lit my whole … everywhere I had hand sanitiser on my hand, it just lit my hand with fire.

"And it obviously went all over my face. And, in like a matter of five seconds, my whole body was just consumed in flames."

She added: "It's something that you never want your kids to see.

"Like, you just being up in flames so I think that part kind of killed me just because it's something I never wanted them to have to go through."

As well as the physical injuries, her daughters have been left without a home and her medical bills are mounting.

Her friend Kathryn Bonesteel has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the family.

Experts have warned that hand sanitisers – many of which contain alcohol – can be flammable and bottles usually have a warning that says to keep the product away from flames or fire.

Jennifer L. Rose, consultation director of the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Programme, told Safety and Health magazine are advised to “let the sanitiser fully absorb into the skin or evaporate” before any close contact with flames.

“Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and can easily ignite,” she said.

"Vapours may form explosive mixtures with air, travelling to a source of ignition and flashback. It is not really the liquid burning – it is the vapours that catch fire.”

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