A five-year-old girl in Henan province suffered third-degree burns over more than half of her body after she was left alone to watch the family’s dinner in the stove and accidentally set herself aflame.
The young victim, Su Xiao Xue, was helping her father prepare dinner on a coal stove when he left her to keep an eye on the food while he checked on her two younger siblings. Minutes later, neighbors saw the girl run out of the house, engulfed in flames.
Xiao Xue fell unconscious and was rushed to the hospital. The flames left her with third-degree bourns over 55 percent of her body, and one of her fingers had nearly been burned off, according to Tomo News. Doctors believe she must have picked up a hot coal and dropped it, setting her clothes on fire.
“The villagers often offer hand me clothing or food to help out the family, but that won’t be enough to cover Xiao Xue’s medical expenses,” said Mr. Su, a single dad whose wife passed away last year.
He is now struggling between caring for his two younger children, working and tending to Xiao Xue in the hospital.