A NINE-year-old boy has been left needing skin grafts after he was enveloped in flames caused by a burning toy car on Tuesday night.
Dillon Cawley, a pupil at Hyndburn Park Primary School, Accrington, suffered 20 per cent burns to his upper body and legs in the horrific incident.
He was playing out with five friends near his home when one boy apparently kicked a remote control car covered in petrol, that had been set alight by a cigarette lighter, in the direction of Dillon, whose clothes went up in flames.
According to witnesses, the other boys then stripped Dillon naked and he ran down the road towards his house on Corporation Street screaming: "Help me, help me, I'm going to die."
Neighbour Robert Grant, 26, a refuse collector for Hyndburn Council, said: "I heard Dillon running up and down the street screaming.
"From what we can gather, one lad kicked the car after it had been set on fire, to get it away from himself.
"Unfortunately it landed on Dillon who just went up in flames.
"My wife's son called the ambulance. We were told to wrap him in wet towels and constantly add cold water to his burns which we did."
The ambulance arrived at around 9.30pm and took Dillon straight to Blackburn Royal Infirmary, before he was transferred to the burns unit at Booth Hall Children's Hospital in Manchester.
It is thought that he is on a drip and that surgeons will have to remove skin from his back to graft onto his chest where he suffered the severest burns.
His parents Helen and Martin, both 37, were keeping a bedside vigil yesterday (Thurs).
Helen had been discharged from hospital earlier the same day after giving birth to a little girl, Candice. Dillon also has another sister Mindy, 15, and a brother Jordan, five.
Station manager at Hyndburn Community Fire Station, Gary Monk, said: "This situation is as severe as it gets without somebody actually losing their life.
"We believe that the kids had been playing with fireworks earlier in the evening and a distressing situation such as this highlights why there are laws banning the sale of fireworks to anybody under 16.
"Children shouldn't be able to buy petrol anywhere and parents need to remember to keep these dangerous substances out of reach. Petrol is a potentially lethal substance, which very often results in an explosion."