Utah boy, 7, dies after accidentally setting himself on fire while playing with matches and gasoline


Boy, seven, dies after accidentally setting himself on fire while playing with matches and gasoline in backyard alley with pals

  • Kaisen Dam, 7, and his friend, 9, were trying to melt a fence in Salt Lake City, Utah when Kaisen caught fire
  • Kaisen suffered second degree burns to 90 per cent of his body
  • He was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition and later died from his injuries
  • His friend was not injured and the investigation into the fire is ongoing

A seven-year-old boy from Salt Lake City, Utah, has died after catching fire while playing with matches and gasoline with his friend in a backyard alleyway. 

Kaisen Dam and his nine-year-old friend were using the matches and gasoline to melt a fence near Gillespie Avenue and Navajo Street when Kaisen caught fire at 6.20pm on Saturday.

Neighbors heard the children screaming and rushed to help as the fire blanketed the yard. 

The blaze burned off most of the Kaisen’s clothing before the neighbors were able to wrap him in a blanket and put out the flames. 

Kaisen suffered second degree burns on 90 per cent of his body, according to KSL-TV

Seven-year-old Kaisen Dam from Salt Lake City, Utah, has died after catching fire while playing with matches and gasoline with his friend in a backyard alleyway

Seven-year-old Kaisen Dam (pictured L and R) from Salt Lake City, Utah, has died after catching fire while playing with matches and gasoline with his friend in a backyard alleyway. Kaisen and his nine-year-old friend were using the matches and gasoline to melt a fence near Gillespie Avenue and Navajo Street when Kaisen caught fire at 6.20pm on Saturday

Kaisen was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition where he later died from his injuries. 

Footage from the scene shows the melted fence, charred branches and blackened grass. 

The second child was not injured and will remain unidentified, officials said. 

Neighbor Sito Tausinga told KSL-TV: ‘He’s like a little brother to us. He was really close… He’s the one who brings everyone together.’ 

Fane Tausinga, Sito’s sister, added: ‘I’m sad. I’m really sad. He would just come ride bikes with us and then he started to know us, and my mom loved him.’ 

The sisters said Kaisen knew everyone on the street and was always asking them to play outside with him. 

Kaisen suffered second degree burns on 90 per cent of his body

Kaisen suffered second degree burns on 90 per cent of his body 

Kaisen was rushed to Primary Children's Hospital in critical condition where he died from his injuries. His funeral will be held on Friday in Salt Lake City

Kaisen was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in critical condition where he died from his injuries. His funeral will be held on Friday in Salt Lake City

‘He has like no electronics, so he knocks on people’s houses and says, “Can your kids come play?”

 ‘And I see them all laughing outside and playing with him and it’s cute,’ Sito added.

Fane said: ‘Yesterday, he just came and he was like, “I’m bored.” And I opened the window and I said, “Go home.”

‘And three hours later, we found out there was a fire in the back. My auntie called my mom and we just heard my mom screaming, and we all came over here.’ 

Kaisen Dam and his friend were using the matches and gasoline to melt a fence near Gillespie Avenue and Navajo Street in Salt Lake City, Utah, when Kaisen caught fire at 6.20pm on Saturday

Kaisen Dam and his friend were using the matches and gasoline to melt a fence near Gillespie Avenue and Navajo Street in Salt Lake City, Utah, when Kaisen caught fire at 6.20pm on Saturday

The blaze burned off most of the Kaisen's clothing before the neighbors were able to wrap him in a blanket and put out the flames

The blaze burned off most of the Kaisen’s clothing before the neighbors were able to wrap him in a blanket and put out the flames

The sisters told KSL-TV they’re praying for Kaisen’s family. ‘We love them so much, Fane said, ‘and we just want them to know we’re all here if they need anything’. 

Kaisen’s grandparents speak mostly Vietnamese but shared with the station how much they loved him and how friendly and sweet he was. 

The Salt Lake City Police Department’s investigation into the fatal fire is ongoing. 

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