Current and former Pulaski students injured at bonfire in Hofa Park

A number of former and current students from the Pulaski School District were injured in a Shawano County campfire Friday night after fire accelerant was thrown into the blaze, according to a statement from the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office and an email from the school district.

The bonfire was at a home on Cedar Drive in Maple Grove around 10 p.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office said, when fire accelerant was thrown at the fire, causing an explosion that caused “the fire to spiral out of control.” “.

Several people around the campfire were taken to local hospitals in the Green Bay area for treatment of burns.

The sheriff’s office said it didn’t know how many people were injured in the bonfire. A GoFundMe page set up for one of the injured teenagers says there were around 30 people.

“The severity of the injuries sustained by various individuals is unknown,” the sheriff’s office said, although social media reports suggest some of them were serious.

A Pulaski High School graduate was taken to a Milwaukee burns center, according to the GoFundMe page, which was set up to help the injured teen and his family.

Jen Ziech, who started the fundraiser for her nephew, told the Press-Gazette several others were also flown to Milwaukee because of their injuries.

“It was like sending firebombs to all these kids. Six or seven were flown to the incineration unit (in Milwaukee).” She said.

“These kids were on fire. There were kids helping kids, they rolled and tapped, trying to do whatever they could,” Ziech said.

Timothy Trinh’s son recalls hearing a “whoosh” sound and feeling hot behind him as he stood by the campfire. He turned and saw the fire “spurting out like a fire hose and just hitting people,” he told his father. He didn’t realize he was burned.

“He and two other guys he was with would take off their sweatshirts and put out the fires on people, and everyone would be rolling on the ground trying to put out the fire,” Trinh told the Press-Gazette.

Trinh’s son had burns on the back of his right leg from the blast. He had returned from college to visit his girlfriend and to take her to the homecoming ball on Saturday.

He went to St Vincent Hospital for treatment on Friday night and saw a few other people waiting to be flown out for more intensive care.

In an email sent to families on Saturday afternoon, Pulaski District said: “We have been made aware of a tragic accident that occurred in the Hofa Park area last night and involved many people, including several alumni and current students of the PCSD.

“Although we do not have detailed information, we would like to support our students and families. Canvas gives our students information on how to connect with our school counselors today and tomorrow.”

Trinh’s son was up and walking around the house on Saturday but was still in shock – he had never experienced anything like it, he told his father.

“He kept saying it was the worst thing he had ever seen in his life,” Trinh said.

The school district provides psychological health and grief counselors. For assistance, call the Brown and Shawano County Crisis Lines at 715-526-3240 or the Oconto County After Hours Crisis Line at 920-496-7000.

Oak Ridge Counseling and Consulting also offers support at 920-264-7845.

It’s homecoming week at Pulaski High School. The dance will continue as scheduled Saturday night, the school district said in an email to families, but the high school will also be open for students who wish to gather from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. so they can ” everyone can find solace for others,” the school district said.

Teachers and supervisors will be there to support the dance.

An investigation is underway. Anyone with information about the incident should call the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office at 715-526-3111.

Contact Benita Mathew at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @benita_mathew.

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