Burn Victim's Family Maintains Vigil

SACRAMENTO, CA - Monday their son was severely burned in an explosion at a Churchill County oil recycling plant.

Today they're at his bedside at a Sacramento burn center, worried about the struggle ahead of him, but grateful for the support they've been receiving.

Kevin Snodgrass is a volunteer fireman in the Fallon area. He wears an emergency pager and so heard about the explosion at Bango Oil before almost anyone else.

His 24 year old son Daniel works at Bango and the emergency call sent chills down his spine.

" I knew it was my son," he says.

He tried calling his wife, but it wasn't going through.

"I had it turned off," Lois says.

They raced to the scene 15 miles west of town fearing the worst.

"I found his supervisor and asked 'Where's my son?"

He'd suffered second, third and fourth degree burns over more than half his body and had been flown to Reno where they first saw him.

"Seeing your child like that is something no parent should ever see."

He was then flown to the west's premier burn center here at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Since then they've literally been spending every waking hour at his bedside.

He's still in critical condition, but there was some encouraging news today.

'He was breathing well enough on his own to be taken off the ventilator," says Lois Snodgrass.

Daniel is the oldest sibling in a family of nine, a 2007 graduate of Churchill County High, a good student and, his parents say, a good young man, the first to offer help to others.

Now he and they need help and they're getting it.

"We've got good family and good friends they've been helping out and it's really appreciated."

They say they're especially grateful to the support and advice they're getting from the staff of the Firefighters Burn Institute here at the Medical Center.

He is, they know, in good hands, but facing a struggle neither he nor they could have ever imagined.

"This should never happen to any parent, ever," says Kevin. "I wish I'd done more."

His doctors say even if all goes well, Daniel faces another month or two of treatment, followed by a month or two of rehab and more surgeries beyond.

A fund has been set up to help the Snodgrass family. Contributions can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the "Daniel Snodgrass Donation Fund."

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