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NEW CHICAGO — A 7-year-old boy was flown by helicopter to a Chicago hospital and his father was burned Sunday after the boy poured gasoline on an outdoor fire, an official said.

Several boys were playing near a fire in a small pit between mobile homes about 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Ravinia Pines neighborhood off East 37th Avenue, New Chicago Fire Chief Joe Eakins said.

A neighbor heard what sounded like a "whoof," looked out and saw that one of the boy's pants were on fire, he said.

The boy's father went out and tried to stomp out the fire, while a neighbor helped the boy to the ground and put out the fire with a coat, Eakins said.

Paramedics from the Hobart Fire Department arrived and decided to request a medical helicopter for the boy, he said.

Firefighters took the boy to the Hobart Sky Ranch Airport, where he was loaded into a UCAN helicopter and taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, Eakins said.

The boy's father went to St. Mary Medical Center with burns to his ankle, he said.


Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.