A 5-year-old Dallas boy suffered second and third degree burns while playing with gasoline and a lighter.
Alex Thomas is now recovering at Parkland Memorial Hospital with burns on 25 percent of his body.
Frank Thomas said he was fixing the porch recently when he heard his son screaming. He'll never forget what he saw next.
"I just see flames from his waist up. All I could see are his legs and his face through the flames," he said.
The boy fell to the ground and his father ripped off his shirt. Tiffani Thomas put her son in the cold shower and called 911.
"I screamed. I said, 'My son's on fire,'" she said. "I can't sleep at night. I still hear him screaming. I saw his skin just melting off of him, just melting to the ground like candle wax."
According to Dallas Fire Rescue, Alex has been playing with an 8-year-old neighbor on a wooden play set outside another neighbor's home. They'd found some gasoline in an old juice bottle at a neighboring mobile home park and brought it to the play set.
Officials said the older boy poured the gasoline on the set, got a lighter and set it on fire. Alex was close enough to catch on fire too.
Friends are now making cards and showing their support.
"I couldn't imagine anything like that happening. To see your child on fire has got to be the ultimate… that's the worst thing that could happen. That was literally torture for that child," said Amanda Hunker.
They're also raising money to help the family with medical and other expenses.
Frank and Tiffani Thomas said their friends are a blessing at a time when Alex needs them most.
Thankfully, they said their son's injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Fire investigators are treating the case as an accident. They do not believe the older boy had any malicious intent. Instead, the kids were playing with fire without an understanding of the disastrous consequences, they said.
KDFW FOX 4
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