Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, August 13, 1998 Published at 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK


Cubs to the rescue

Experts demonstrate the art of juggling with fire

An investigation is being launched after a fire juggler's equipment exploded, injuring two adults and a child at a birthday party.

Six-year-old Sam Maclaren was engulfed in flames when a bowl of methylated spirits used by the entertainer combusted.

Birthday boy Liam Boller, 11, and a fellow cub scout put their training into action and rolled the youngster on the floor until the flames were extinguished, then wrapped him in a duvet.

Two women, including Sam's mother Wendy, 30, were also injured at the party in Dover, Kent, on Wednesday evening.

Liam's aunt Jane Bennett, 31, is stable with burns in a specialist unit in Sussex.

[ image: A flame thrower was booked to entertain children at a birthday party]
A flame thrower was booked to entertain children at a birthday party
Mrs Maclaren and Sam are in a comfortable condition in an Essex hospital.

Dover District Council is investigating the incident on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.

Mrs Bennett's mother Catherine Boller said: "It is all a really tragic accident. Liam was a real little hero.

"He knew exactly what to do. It all seemed to be over in minutes."

Liam, who will be 12 on Friday, said: "I was having a joint party with my friend Stacey Maclaren who was 11 on Monday.

"We were all having a really good time. There was a bouncy castle and a juggler.

"The juggler went and got a bottle and poured it into a bowl which was alight.

"Suddenly there were flames everywhere. Sam was shouting. He was alight.

"Me and my friend Shane jumped on him and rolled him on the ground.

"We kept him away from the trees and we jumped on his head till the flames went out.

"I learned how to do it at cubs. I wasn't scared - but I was scared afterwards."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Internet Links

St John Ambulance

The Scout Association

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online