Fabric softener linked to burns
Liquid fabric softener may have played a role in the fast-spreading fire that caused severe burns to a 9-year-old La Center girl on Wednesday.
Addie Perrenoud was taken to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns on 75 percent of her body after her homemade flannel nightgown caught fire Wednesday morning. She was flown to the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and was listed in critical condition Friday, a Legacy spokeswoman said.
Firefighters initially thought hair spray, or aerosol air freshener might have been responsible for the fire on the girl’s clothing. Fire Marshal Richard Martin on Friday said he thinks the family’s use of Downy liquid fabric softener might have played a role.
Liquid softeners “fluff up” fabric fibers, he said. “In doing that it presents more surface area as a fuel so it burns a whole lot better,” Martin said. Downy warning labels and some studies say the fabric softener may degrade flame-retardant treatment, he said.