She was roasting marshmallows on New Year's Eve. Then a gas can exploded

Family and friends describe 14-year-old Layne Chesney as an avid softball player already in the sights of college sco...

Posted: Jan. 6, 2018 2:19 PM
Updated: Jan. 6, 2018 2:19 PM

Family and friends describe 14-year-old Layne Chesney as an avid softball player already in the sights of college scouts. Now, the South Florida teen is in critical condition after a fire on New Year's Eve.

Layne was roasting marshmallows during a bonfire at a friend's house in Fort Pierce when a gas can exploded. She was immediately "engulfed in flames," her mother Leigh Chesney told CNN affiliate WFOR.

More than 95% of her body sustained severe burns

Layne's "face still looks beautiful," mom says

Layne's friend, Hunter Holmes, and his parents, Robert and Stephanie Holmes attempted to put out the fire and sustained burns, Chesney family friend Michelle McGee Felix told CNN. Despite the Holmes' efforts, more than 95% of Layne's body was severely burned.

"Everything was burned except for the bottom of her feet," Felix said.

A St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office incident report states that Layne was "covered with blankets and towels" when deputies arrived.

Robert Holmes attempted to keep the Lincoln Park Academy ninth-grader "moist and cool" with water from a hose. Despite her severe injuries, Layne was able to tell deputies her mother's name and phone number.

Felix told CNN that Layne was stabilized at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce. She was later airlifted to Kendall Medical Center in Miami, where doctors placed her into a medically induced coma.

Layne has undergone several surgeries, including one that lasted almost eight hours to clear dead skin from her chest and stomach areas, Felix said.

Doctors also are treating Layne for a collapsed lung and a blood clot.

Felix told CNN that Layne's mother texted her to say Layne will undergo another surgery on Monday and that her daughter's "face still looks beautiful."

Leigh Chesney remains hopeful, despite doctors telling her they are "doing the best they can" but that "they can't make any promises."

"She's going to have a very difficult, long battle. She's going to have many setbacks," Layne's mother told WFOR.

Felix started a Facebook page to post updates on Layne's progress. There is also a GoFundMe page for assistance with the teen's medical bills and family support.

Article Comments

West Lafayette
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Williamsport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Logansport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Areas of fog overnight and morning with mostly to partly sunny tomorrow.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Community Events