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5-year-old girl sets herself on fire after being left alone to supervise dinner on coal stove

By Mason White 8:56 AM January 23, 2015
Chinese food illustration 

By: Mahesh Sarin
(Scroll down for video) A young girl who was left home alone while dinner was cooking on the stove, set herself on fire.

5-year-old Su Xiao Xue of Henan, China, accidentally set herself on fire after her father told her to keep an eye on the family’s dinner.

Xue is the eldest of three siblings. She and her father were preparing the family dinner one night in a coal stove when he asked her to look after the food while he cared for her two younger siblings.

Xue’s father is a single parent. His wife died last year, leaving him alone with three small children. He divides his time between his children and his work, but does not earn much.

After a few minutes of looking after the food, the young girl caught on fire and ran outside of her home. Neighbors heard her screams and ran outside to douse the flames.

Xue was rushed to a hospital, where she remains unconscious. She suffered 3rd degree burns over 55 percent of her body and three of her fingers on one hand were badly burned.

Doctors speculate that the 5-year-old girl picked up a hot coal from the oven, which burned her hand before her clothes caught on fire.

The girl’s father said that he is struggling to divided his time between caring for his two children, working and spending time to visit Xue at the hospital.

The father said that villagers had stepped up and offered clothes and food to help the family, but he does not have enough money to cover the medical expenses for his daughter.