Coal dust fire burns child

An 8-year-old boy suffered burns on his foot when he walked into an area of Golden Hills park in Colorado Springs, CO that was covered in coal dust. The dust, left over from coal mining operations about 80 years earlier, was on fire, smoldering, and it melted the boy’s plastic shoe and gave him second degree burns. If the boy had not “discovered” the fire, it would have spread into nearby vegetation. The cause of the fire was unknown.

The temperature of the coal dust was 800 degrees. An engineer with the Colorado Division of Reclamation said the dust must have been dumped on the surface, and it was not a deep-seated underground coal seam burning. Crews put out the fire, installed fences, and planned to put dirt over the dust and revegetate the area.

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