A mother of five has died as the result of a a fire pit accident that happened her backyard last month, which also severely injured her 11-year-old son.
Nicole Foltz, 38, was spending time with family and friends by an outside fire on Nov. 14 when the tragedy took place, according to Fox station WTVT.
“I had just gone inside and to my knowledge, she decided to try to keep the fire going, keep the fun going,” her husband, Jeff Foltz, told the outlet.
After putting another log on the fire, she then “poured the gas into it, and it ignited and blew the can up in her hands,” he said while speaking with ABC affiliate WFTS-TV.
Nicole, who suffered burns on nearly 100% of her body, died at the hospital three days later, per the outlet.
“It’s just one of those senseless acts you don’t expect to happen in your family,” he told the station.
Additionally, the accident severely injured the couple’s son Jeffrey, who spent 12 days in the hospital, but was able to make it home in time for his birthday, according to WFTS-TV.
“He’s staying pretty strong,” Jeff told WTVT, adding that just “two days after we got home he was walking.”
Nicole, who worked as a server and manager at The Tarpon Tavern, was remembered by her colleagues as being a “devoted wife” who “always put a smile on everyone’s face.”
“She absolutely loved her work where everybody adored her not just for her hard work, but also personality and friendship,” Ania Bozena, the owner of Tarpon Tavern, where Nicole worked for many years, told WTVT.
“But most of all, she was a great mother who always put her family first,” added Bozena. “We miss her terribly.”
A GoFundMe created to help support her family has raised nearly $30,000as of Wednesday morning.
“Nicole was loved so much because she truly loved life,” reads a post on the fundraiser. “Her radiant smile always filled the room. She was always there for everyone — there for every relative, every friend, every customer, every coworker, every birthday, every anniversary, every day,” the post continues.
“All donations will assist the family with Nicole’s funeral costs, her hospital bills, young Jeffrey’s existing and ongoing hospital bills for skin graphs and long-term rehabilitation, childcare, and ongoing living expenses for the surviving family of six who are now without Nicole’s income.”
In a social media post, Nicole’s husband said the response has been “overwhelming” at times, but added that he’s “thankful” for everyone who’s shared their love and support.
In addition to mourning his wife, Jeff shared that he wants to emphasize the importance of fire safety.
“I don’t want to read about somebody else’s family having to go through this. It’s unimaginable,” he told WFTS-TV.
“Think twice before using gasoline,” he added, speaking with WTVT. “It’s definitely not safe.”
Please, love muffins, be careful if you choose to light or be near fire this winter.