Knoxville boy sets himself on fire


A local boy is at Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati after setting himself on fire. That boy told police someone threw a cigarette on him and that's how he caught fire. Investigators say security cameras revealed a much different version the story.

Police tell me 11 year-old Xavier Graves was in the backyard playing with gasoline and a lighter, when he set himself on fire.

This looks like a quiet house on Oakcrest Road in North Knoxville, but Wednesday morning, it was chaos. Fred Reagan says, "When you wake up and see 5 or 6 police cars on the street, you think maybe someone got killed or shot."

No one was killed, but Xavier Graves was badly burned. Police tell us security cameras show the 11 year-old playing with a gas can and a lighter when he went up in flames. He burned most of his upper body.
Neighbors are shocked. Reagan says, "You know how kids are. Sometimes they get into things they're not supposed to be in if things aren't put away."

Fred Reagan says Xavier lived next door for about a year.
He says Xavier is a sweet, helpful boy, and he never caused any trouble. Reagan says, "He's a real energetic boy and he always wants to help do things. He always asks if he can help you do this or help you do that."

Family members told Fred Xavier has a long road of recovery ahead, but he's going to be okay. At first, there were reports someone drove by and flicked a cigarette at Xavier, but security footage showed that wasn't true. He was burned on over 50% of his body including his chest, back, neck and arms.

Xavier was taken to Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati where he's listed in serious condition.


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