A Florida mother-of-five died after suffering burns over nearly 100% of her body in a horrifying fire pit accident in the family’s backyard that left her 11-year-old son hospitalized.
Last month, Nicole Foltz, 38, and her husband, Jeff, started a fire reportedly to keep bugs away of their Tarpon Springs home as they hung out with friends, according to WFTS.
Florida Mother Dies As She Tries To Reignite Fire Pit In Family’s Backyard, Officials Say
Jeff told the outlet that the fire began to fizzle at one point as he stepped back inside while Nicole tried to reignite it.
“I had just gone inside and to my knowledge, she decided to try to keep the fire going, keep the fun going, and she put another log on it and there wasn’t much flame at all,” he told Fox 13 News.
He went on to say: “but she just, I guess, felt to pour a little gas on it, and it would reignite, and it did. I guess it must’ve traveled the gas stream up to the gas can, and it exploded in her hands.”
A tragic story out of Tarpon Springs: 38-year-old mother of five, Nicole Foltz, died after a firepit accident in her family’s backyard. The explosion also injured one of her sons. How the community is uniting around the family at 6 on @FOX13News. pic.twitter.com/ayCsfaOrF8
— Kailey Tracy Fox 13 (@KaileyTracy) December 4, 2022
Jeff said that his wife “actually stopped, dropped and rolled like you’re supposed to,” but was quickly overwhelmed by the flames.
She died three days after the Nov. 14 accident, WFTS reports.
Her 11-Year-Old Son Suffered Burns On Over 40% Of His Body And Spent 12 Days In The Hospital
Meanwhile, their 11-year-old son Jeffrey also suffered second- and third-degree burns over about 40% of his body, spending 12 days in the hospital, according to the outlet.
“I never left his side in the hospital, which is difficult, especially because I feel bad for other children there. I can see how it is to not have somebody that can be there for you by your bedside 24/7,” Foltz told WFTS.
Jeffrey only recently returned home as he continues to heal from his injuries.
“He’s staying pretty strong. I’m sure the whole crew there was really surprised to hear that two days after we got home, he was walking,” his dad told Fox 13.
Nicole Foltz, a mother of 5, died after a firepit accident in her family’s backyard. Her son was also injured. The community is uniting around the Tarpon Springs family. Her coworkers at Tarpon Tavern started a fundraiser for them, and others are collecting donations too. pic.twitter.com/GKMTbHFAjx
— Kailey Tracy Fox 13 (@KaileyTracy) December 5, 2022
According to a GoFundMe account for the family, the young mother was a server and manager at the Tarpon Tavern.
“Her radiant smile always filled the room. She was always there for everyone — there for every relative, every friend, every customer, every co-worker, every birthday, every anniversary, every day for every one,” fundraiser organizer Dan Jenkin wrote.
He added: “We will miss Nicole, but our memories of her are eternal.”
On Friday night, Tarpon Tavern and sister eatery The Bistro donated 10% of their proceeds to the devastated family.
Fire Pit To Be Turned Into Bird Bath In Young Mother’s Honor, Husband Urges Fire Safety
Foltz’ husband described Nicole as “all around one of the best, genuine people. She had a fierceness to her. Everybody loved her.”
He added that he wishes people learn more about fire safety.
“I don’t want to read about somebody else’s family having to go through this. It’s unimaginable,” he told WFTS. “It’s just one of those senseless acts you don’t expect to happen in your family … gasoline is not a joke when it comes to fire. You have to be careful or just don’t do it at all.”
The family will eventually turn the fire pit into a bird bath in Nicole’s memory, something she reportedly always wanted in the backyard.