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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.

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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.