LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - A night of family fun turned frightening for a Loxahatchee family after a toddler falls into a fire pit suffering severe burns.
Marcus Conley, 3, tripped over his foot and fell into the embers of their fire pit in the backyard of the Conley home on the 15000 block of 85 Road, North in Loxahatchee.
The Conley's were enjoying the night having a bonfire Monday night when it happened, his mother Teena Conley said.
"It was so hot that it burned his hands to the second degree and then burned his face," Conley said. "He has no skin on his face right now."
A picture sent by Conley showed the boys face badly burned as he was hooked up to tubes and machines at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
She said more than 11 percent of the little boy known as Mari was burned, but he's doing better than last night.
"He's talking," Conley said by phone. "He's a comedian, so every now and then he says his little jokes and it's the cutest thing. It's heartbreaking though to see this vibrant child stuck in a (hospital) bed."
As heartbreaking as Tuesday has been for the Conley family in the hospital, she said it doesn't compare to when her son first tripped.
"My heart was breaking just to see him," she said. "I had his skin on me. I can't describe it as a mother. A piece of me was dying right there with him."
But Teena said that the she owes her life to his grandfather Darryl Maddox, who pulled Marcus from the pit just seconds after he tripped.
"If he was not there, my child would've died. Period," Conley said. "There is no doubt about it he would've burned to death."
For that she says she's forever indebted to Maddox and forever grateful for little Marcus' life.
"It's been the worst day ever," she added. "(Marcus) is my ray of sunshine and in all of our lives and we're just blessed. Just blessed that he's alive."
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office did a full investigation and determined that the injuries suffered by Mari were accidental.