Doctors are scratching their heads after an 11-year-old cancer survivor mysteriously caught fire in her room at an Oregon hospital.
Ireland Lane had been painting in her room at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland when she suddenly ran into the hallway screaming, her shirt ablaze, ABC affiliate KATU
Hospital staff quickly extinguished the flames, and Lane is recovering from third-degree burns, but the cause of the fire remains a mystery.
“I’ve been in medicine going back 30 years now and never heard anything like this. And hopefully I never will again,” Dr. Stacy Nicholson, physician-in-chief at the hospital, told the TV station.
“Our safety experts are working closely with the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office on its investigation,” Nicholson later added in a statement. “We anxiously await the their findings and will certainly make adjustments if the cause was preventable.”
Lane was in the hospital being treated for a head injury unrelated to her cancer. She had been scheduled for release that day. She is listed in serious condition and is undergoing treatment for burns on her chest, neck, arms, and earlobes at Legacy Oregon Burn Center, according to The Oregonian.
She is scheduled to undergo a second skin graft on Thursday, her 12th birthday.
The girl said she was using hand sanitizer to clean a table that rolled over her bed on which she was painting a wooden box as a gift for her nurses, The Oregonian reported.
Officials are investigating whether the alcohol-based sanitizer and static electricity could have sparked the flames, a spokesman for the Oregon State Fire Marshal told ABCNews.com.
Though Lane has had bad dreams, she doesn't remember the fire, her father said.
“She’s quite a tough one,” said Stephen Lane of Klamath Falls. “She’s been through more than any child I’ve ever heard of, and to still walk around with a smile on her face and enjoy the things of the day that are going on, and be a kid is to me pretty amazing.”
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