ASHDOWN, AR (KSLA) - Two Ashdown, Ark. brothers who were severely burned in a backyard grilling accident Monday remain in serious condition at an Arkansas hospital.
The accident happened just after 1:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of North Wallace Street in Ashdown.
Family members say 9-year-old Idie McCullough Jr., and 13-year-old Joseph McCullough were trying to use the grill to make a surprise dinner for their parents. Unfortunately, the grill somehow exploded, burning both of the boys. Idie and Joseph were airlifted to Arkansas Children's Hospital's Burn Unit in Little Rock.
"Started the grill and as he started the grill I guess it back fired on him," said Jonathan Henry, a close family friend. "Joseph got 50 percent of his body burned, Idie Jr. has 60 percent of his body burned."
Both boys reportedly suffered severe burns to their faces, upper body, chest, arms and legs.
"You heard the boom, you heard it across town," recalled Henry.
Henry said the Joseph tried to light a charcoal grill, which did not have a propane tank. Somehow, something caused an explosion but exactly how it was sparked, is still under investigation.
Signs of what happened are still visible in the backyard of the boys' home; a burned bicycle, a melted swimming pool and charred grass. But, there are still very few answers.
"Just your average boys. They just wanted to do it from their mom and daddy, a surprise dinner," explained Henry. "It's in God's hands. What happened, nobody knows at this point."
Both boys have a long road to recovery but according to family members, the boys' lung tests came back clear Tuesday with no signs of damage. Both boys are also responding to their mom and dad's voices.
To help the McCullough family, friends are trying to raise money to help with medical and travel expenses.
If you would like to donate, please visit their GoFundMe page.