HASTINGS, Fla. -- Action News is learning more about an investigation into a fire that caused serious burns to a child and man in Hastings on Friday.
It's a case the State Fire Marshal calls unusual.
It started at the Hastings Fire Department where 20-year-old Corey Thurston and a 4-year-old boy were brought by the boy's mother Friday afternoon. They were flown to the burn unit at UF and Shands Gainesville for treatment where they remained for two days, before returning to the Flagler Estates Boulevard home where the incident occured.
Action News spoke with Thurston on Wednesday, who said he was burning logs in an outdoor fire pit and he thought the boy was standing behind an outdoor building. Thurston threw racing fuel on the fire to help it spread, something he says he has done many times before, but instead of burning slowly, it suddenly exploded.
Thurston maintains he reacted to the boy's injuries first, before realizing he was also suffering from second- and third-degree burns along the right side of his body.
While the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has concluded no criminal charges will be filed, the State Fire Marshal's office is still investigating. The Department of Children and Families has also joined the investigation.
"We have to determine if this was something that was negligent, was this something that was purposeful, or was it an accident," says spokesman John Harrell.
While the investigation leads them to believe it was an accident, something Thurston insists, Harrell says an investigation is necessary to ensure the child's safety and continued treatment for his injuries.
"We were a bit surprised to hear that race car fuel was used to further ignite the fire -- that's not something that we're experts on, but that did surprise us. But ultimately the key question here is child safety."
The boy's mother told police she was sleeping inside the home when the incident took place. She tells Action News he is coping well and recovering with continued treatment.
The boy's biological father tells Action News he does not think Thurston's act was purposeful, but he called it "dumb" and "irresponsible" and supports the DCF investigation.
A full review could take weeks.
The State Fire Marshal's Office says it has sent samples of the fuel to a Tallahassee lab and it is awaiting the results. The investigation is ongoing.