MINEVILLE — A teenager badly burned Thursday morning in a wooded area near Mineville was apparently lighting a flammable substance while with a group of other youths.

The 15-year-old Port Henry boy had been camped out with three other youths off Mountain Lake Road, State Police Public Information Specialist Jennifer Fleishman said.

“There were group of juveniles camping in a wooded area on the south side of North Pond in the Town of Westport.

“At some time during their gathering, a small can of unknown accelerant exploded at the campsite. It was due to the juvenile trying to light it.

“That caused significant injuries to the 15-year-old.”

 HAND, EYE BADLY INJURED

The incident was reported to police about 10:50 a.m.

The youth was holding the container of accelerant at the time, and the explosion did extensive damage to his left hand and right eye, Fleishman said.

“He also has burns to his upper and lower extremities and face.”

He was listed in stable condition on Friday at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after being airlifted there from Elizabethtown Community Hospital Thursday morning, Fleishman said.

The youth and his companions are all juveniles, and could qualify for youthful-offender status if charges are filed, she said.

State Police refused to release the boy’s name.

No charges had been filed as of Friday.

JOINT INVESTIGATION

North Pond, an artificial body of water created by a rock dam, is located on the Moriah-Westport town line. It is used as a backup water source for the Town of Moriah.

Mountain Spring Road between Moriah and Westport is a popular gathering area for local teenagers. Most of the road, which has only seasonal maintenance, is a narrow dirt lane that ends at Stevenson Road in Westport.

The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is being assisted in the probe by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, Essex County Fire Investigation Unit and Moriah Fire Department.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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