Florida’s mother, Nicole Foltz, dies in accident involving backyard fire

A Florida mother of five has died after suffering burns to almost 100% of her body in a horrific fire pit accident in the family’s backyard that also sent her 11-year-old son to the hospital.

Nicole Foltz, 38, and her husband Jeff started a fire at their Tarpon Springs home where they were hanging out with friends last month to keep the bugs out, WFTS reported.

Jeff said the fire went out once when he went in and Nicole tried to rekindle it.

“I had just walked in and to my knowledge she decided to keep the fire going, to keep the fun going and she put another log on top and there wasn’t much flame at all,” he told Fox 13 News.

“But she, I guess, just felt like pouring a little gas on it and it would reignite, and it did. I’m guessing it must have carried the gas stream all the way to the gas can and exploded in their hands,” Jeff explained.

Nicole Foltz, who died in a backyard fire, and her family.
Nicole Foltz died after suffering burns to almost 100% of her body when a fire pit burst into flames during a family reunion.
Facebook / Jeff Foltz
Grieving husband Jeff Foltz
Nicole’s husband Jeff said the fire pit exploded when she tried to relight it.

He told WFTS that his panicked wife “actually stopped, dropped and rolled like you’re supposed to.”

Despite her best efforts, she was overwhelmed by the flames and suffered burns covering almost 100% of her body. She died three days after the November 14 accident.

Their 11-year-old son, Jeffrey, suffered second- and third-degree burns on about 40% of his body and spent 12 days in the hospital, according to the outlet.

Son Jeffrey's bandaged hand
Son Jeffrey, 11, suffered burns on about 40% of his body and spent 12 days in a hospital.
Facebook / Jeff Foltz

“I never left his side in the hospital, which is difficult, especially as I feel sorry for other children there. I can understand what it’s like not having someone who can be there for you 24/7,” Foltz told WFTS.

The boy recently returned home where he continues to recover from the serious injuries.

“He’s staying pretty strong. I’m sure the whole crew there was really surprised when he heard he was walking two days after we got back,” his father told Fox 13.

The tragic mother was a longtime waitress and manager at the Tarpon Tavern, according to a family GoFundMe account.

The Tarpon Tavern where Nicole worked
Nicole was remembered as a beloved worker at the Tarpon Tavern.

“Her bright smile always filled the room. She was always there for everyone – every relative, every friend, every customer, every colleague, every birthday, every anniversary, every day for everyone,” wrote fundraiser organizer Dan Jenkin.

“We will miss Nicole, but our memories of her will last forever,” he added.

Nicole and Jeff Foltz
Nicole and Jeff had started the fire in the backyard fire pit to keep bugs out.
Facebook / Jeff Foltz
Nicole and Jeff Foltz
“All in all one of the best, most authentic people. There was a wildness about her. Everyone loved her,” Jeff said of his late wife.
Facebook / Jeff Foltz

The owner of the tavern, Ania Bozena, also commemorated her beloved colleague.

“She absolutely loved her job where everyone adored her not only for her hard work but also for her personality and friendship,” she told Fox 13.

“She was a devoted wife to her amazing husband Jeff. But most of all, she was a great mother who always put her family first,” Bozena added.

On Friday night, the Tarpon Tavern and sister restaurant The Bistro donated 10% of their proceeds to the devastated family.

Foltz described Nicole to WFTS as “one of the best, most genuine people all around. There was a wildness about her. Everyone loved her.”

He urged people to learn about and practice fire safety.

“I don’t want to read about someone else’s family going through this. It’s unimaginable,” he told WFTS. “It’s just one of those senseless acts that you don’t expect to happen in your family… Gasoline is no joke when it comes to fire. You have to be careful or just don’t do it at all.”

He said the family will turn the fire pit into a bird bath, which Nicole has always wanted in the backyard.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/07/florida-mom-nicole-foltz-dies-in-backyard-fire-pit-accident/ Florida’s mother, Nicole Foltz, dies in accident involving backyard fire


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing diza@ustimetoday.com.

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