Scoutmaster Sets Himself On Fire: Tom Birch Recovering From Accident (Video)
You may wear the scout's fire safety badge on your shoulder, but that doesn't mean your arm is fireproof.
Unaware that he had some kerosene on his uniform, scoutmaster Tom Birch of Collier County, Fla., Boy Scout Troop 243 accidentally set himself on fire Wednesday evening during a pre-Veterans Day flag retirement ceremony.
"I made a mistake. I got too close. The [fire] barrel was completely out, at least I thought it was," Birch told NBC-2.
"There was hot ember in the barrel so when I put the flag in the barrel, it ignited and came right up to my arm."
The Naples Daily News was present to cover the event, giving a local photographer a unique opportunity to take a quick snapshot of Birch's mishap.
Of course, with the scout motto "Be Prepared," firefighters were also on the scene and ready to extinguish the flames. EMTs took Birch to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released later that evening.
Birch is expected to make full recovery, and hopes that his oversight can be a lesson for the younger scouts.
"It was a little scary but like I said, stop, drop and roll," Birch said. "I had my 15 minutes of flame."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that flag burning is an honor exclusive to the U.S. military and Boy Scouts.