12-year-old, mother badly burned in NC when at-home science experiment explodes

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Friday, July 1, 2022
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"We're very grateful the Lord protected him and he's alive," the boy's father said.

HIGHLANDS, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 12-year-old and his mother were badly burned when an at-home science experiment exploded inside their Highlands, North Carolina, home.

"It involved a Bunsen burner, and he was using a number of things. Alcohol was in the mix," father Kyle McKim told local ABC affiliate during an interview.

It happened June 23. Kyle said the experiment exploded back into his son's face, burning about 50 percent of his body.

"Fortunately, he was wearing protective glasses, which certainly helped, but he was wearing a synthetic shirt, which ended up being a real contributor in the fire staying and trying to get that off as it kind of melted away with the accelerant on there," Kyle explained.

The boy's mother, Caroline was badly burned when she rushed in to save her son.

"Although she's yet to believe it, (she's) a hero and I think a lot of the reason Barrett is alive," Kyle said.

The mother and son have a long road to recovery ahead. Both have undergone multiple surgeries and remain under doctors' care.

"We're very grateful the Lord protected him and he's alive," Kyle said. "We continue to pray for healing for his little body and for his future. We know God has a real purpose for him."