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Children injured during cannon firing at parade in Orem

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Orem, UT (KSTU) – Children in Orem had to be rushed to the hospital Saturday night after they caught fire during a patriotic cannon firing during the city’s annual Summer Fest Grand Parade.

It happened around 7 p.m. on Center Street.

Corina Johnson was one of the first people to respond to the scene. She is a registered nurse and was watching the parade when the fire took place. According to Johnson, four children were involved, one girl and three boys, all between the ages of 10 and 12. They all suffered first and/or second degree burns on their waists and arms.

A press release from Orem City stated: “The Civil War reenactment group fired the cannon on 800 East, just south of Center Street. When the cannon went off, one of the sparks landed in a large pouch that contained additional charges for the cannon. The pouch blew up, injuring all three children child(sic), who were part of the Civil War reenactment group.”

Johnson described that moment.

“Originally there was just a bunch of smoke, and we saw a kid duck out from underneath and then we saw three different kids on fire,” Johnson said. “There were people yelling to stop, drop and roll, water bottles flying so they could get some things going, me and another nurse were sitting on the side and ran over to kind of help, I didn’t stay for a long time, doused all the kids in water, got their clothes, pulled off as much as possible and got EMT headed this way.”

Johnson said three of the children were transported to the hospital. She said none of the injuries were life threatening but she said she wouldn’t be surprised if they spent a day or two in the hospital. The press release stated the extent of the injuries to the children is unknown but stated all three children were in stable condition when they were transported.

By Robert Boyd