Fabric softener may have played role in girls burns

first_imgLiquid fabric softener may have played a role in the fast-spreading fire that caused severe burns to a 9-year-old La Center girl on Wednesday.Addie Perrenoud was sent to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns on 75 percent of her body after her homemade flannel nightgown caught fire Wednesday morning. She was flown to the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland via Life Flight helicopter and was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon, a Legacy spokeswoman said.Firefighters initially thought an accelerant such as hair spray, or aerosol air freshener might have been responsible for the fast-spreading fire on the girl’s clothing. Fire Marshal Richard Martin on Friday said he thinks the family’s use of Downy liquid fabric softener might have played a role.Liquid fabric softeners “fluff up” fabric fibers, he said. “In doing that it presents more surface area as a fuel so it burns a whole lot better,” Martin said.Downy warning labels and some studies say the fabric softener may degrade flame-retardant treatment, Martin said.He thinks most fabric softeners would have the same effect; he’s not sure about fabric softening sheets.Downy is marketed by Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies. A call to the Cincinnati-based company was not returned Friday afternoon, but the company on its website notes that one of the ingredients in Downy is ethanol.last_img

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