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A Tacoma toddler falls into campfire, suffers third degree burns

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TACOMA — A 2 year-old Tacoma toddler has permanent injuries after falling into a campfire during a family vacation on Harstine Island in Mason County.

The toddler’s name is Donovan Lawson and he is all bandaged up with third degree burns after falling in to a campfire. His parents say they took their eyes off their son for literally a few seconds when they heard the screams.

It`s the most terrifying scream I’ve ever heard,” said father Kai Lawson.

Donovan fell face down into a campfire after tripping on a lawn chair.

“His body knocked the brick wall over, he fell and he literally slid in with the bricks,” said Kai.

toddler fireThe boy’s mother says she had taken a few steps toward the picnic table to get some food when the accident happened. She grabbed her son and the father put out the flames quickly but the 2 year-old was already severely burned.

“He keeps saying it hurts but he can’t point to where he hurts,” said mother Jessica Lawson.

Third degree burns to the left side of his face, entire neck and both arms. His parents say they haven`t been able to cry yet they are still dealing with the shock.

“Don`t take your eyes off for one second that`s all it takes,” said Jessica.

“We had put our guard down we had gotten too comfortable,” said Kai.

The couple has taken their five children camping countless times. It always ended around a campfire with no problems until now.

If you are going to go, take a relative with you take a friend with you that way you have somebody to have your back.

Donovan is still in a significant amount of pain.

He still has more surgeries to undergo. The family says they are in need of financial help.

If you would like to donate you can reach out to the Kai Lawson on his Facebook page.


Captain Kyle Ohashi with the Kent Fire department says there are ways parents can make campfires safer for kids. He says to draw a line and make a clear boundary at least three feet away from the campfire.

“If you want to set up a ring of rocks something that creates a little bit more of visual that certainly wouldn’t hurt but at least create something that they can say Ok I know I’m not allowed to cross over that line. It’s no guarantee but that coupled with supervision is the best bet,” said Ohashi.

If you someone is suffering from second or third degree burns.

Ohashi says keep the person as comfortable as possible until medics get there.

Don’t try to treat the burns with water or peel off clothing from the skin.

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