Witness Describes Accident at Discovery Museum

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RENO, NV - Jackie Rider is a regular at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in downtown Reno. On Wednesday she was there filming a fire tornado demonstration.

"We were watching fire tornadoes and it exploded," Rider said. "It was terrifying. The one tornado wasn't going, no one really thought anything of it and then she was like, I forgot to add this and added it, then everything exploded."

Her 6-and-4-year-old daughters Hayden and River were treated for second-degree burns on their arms and legs. Her nephew Logan was treated for first-degree burns on his arm. It was her niece Caylee that was hurt the worst. She's still in the hospital with third-degree burns on her face.

"She was on fire, completely on fire," Rider said. "Her hair, her back, her face. My best friend tackled her and was putting her face out with her hands.'

The museum says the demonstration is a routine one that is performed often there.

"It's called a fire tornado and it's a demonstration that involves a very small flame and a couple of chemicals that change the color of that flame," Marketing and Communications director Patrick Turner said. "We are all concerned about everyone affected by this and we continue to monitor everyone's well being."

Thirteen people, mostly children, were injured. Nine were taken to the hospital and treated for chemical burns and inhalation.

Rider says the family won't be back to the museum any time soon.

"They don't ever want to come back they were terrified just pulling in the lot to get the cars," Rider said.

The Reno Fire Department is investigating the accident and the Discovery is "cooperating fully with all entities involved."

Photo courtesy Jackie Rider