South Florida

'Like Being in a Furnace': Man Who Survived Grill Explosion

A South Florida man who was left badly burned in an accident with his barbecue is sharing his story before the upcoming July 4 holiday.

Firing up a grill left John Herrera with scars and nerve damage he'll keep for the rest of his life.

"It's so painful, it is like being in a furnace where your entire body at the same time is being with with 12, 14, 1,500 degrees," Herrera said at a news conference at Kendall Regional Hospital Tuesday.

Last February, Herrera's wife couldn't get the couple's barbecue lighted so she asked her husband to take a look. What he didn't know was she had left the gas on with the grill cover closed, trapping the gas and causing a small explosion that was caught on camera.

Dr. Carlos Medina said Herrera's burns covered close to 20 percent total body surface area.

"It hits you everywhere," Herrera said.

Herrera spent 10 days in the hospital with second and third degree burns to his arms and legs. He said now he's grateful to be alive.

"You kinda think about things you took for granted before, which you really don't take for granted now," Herrera said.

Herrera said he will be grilling on July 4, but said he hopes others will learn from his lesson.

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