A 15-year-old Raymond High School freshman boy was seriously burned and life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last Wednesday after a plastic gas container near him exploded. The Raymond Fire Department responded to the burn victim call at 5:37 p.m. on Joe Rocky Road in Raymond at a neighbor’s house.
Caleb Doyle was doing work for a neighbor when he was severely burned while he was trying to light a little brush fire when a spark landed on a gas cannister and it expoded. Doyle ended up with 40 percent third degree burns on his upper torso and airway. A neighbor said he thought he heard an explosion that sounded like a gunshot when the fire canister exploded.
As of Monday afternoon, Doyle was listed in serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Harborview. By late afternoon, he was listed in stable guarded condition. Doyle’s condition was originally listed as critical, according to a spokesperson at Harborview. The Herald learned that Doyle’s condition was improving Monday.
Doyle had surgery performed on him Friday morning. His bad skin was removed but Doyle suffered injuries to his airways and he has an inhalation injury as results of the fumes.
“They haven’t scheduled any more at the moment, but there will be more in the future,” Caleb’s older brother, Jacob Doyle, told the Herald Monday afternoon. “He’s making improvements. He’s improving, but there’s still a lot of headway to be made. He’s still not out of the woods. “He’s made little improvement here and there, but there’s always tradeoffs. He is conscious. He knows you’re there. But things are always changing minute-by-minute.”
Doyle’s stay at Harborview could be for up to two months. “They’ve estimated about two months, but it could be more,” Jacob said. “That’s a small assumption that they made.”
An assembly was conducted Monday morning at Raymond HS and a Get Well Caleb Doyle Facebook page was established for Doyle. At Monday morning’s assembly, Jacob Doyle (who will be 17 Sunday) addressed the crowd by asking them to give Caleb their support. Jacob updated his brother’s status with a written statement and told the students what they could do to support him during his recovery. The RHS Cheerleaders led cheers in support of Caleb.
Caleb played on the RHS varsity and junior varsity football teams last fall and he had planned to compete in track and field in the spring,” according to his brother.
“My message was to tell them what happened what they can do to support him as a whole,” Jacob said. “I wanted to tell them to don’t take lives for granted and take the little things in life and remember those things.
“He’s a gentle giant,” Jacob told the Herald. “He’s always willing to help out and it didn’t matter if he was getting paid for it. He’s always been a kind caring person.”
Students sent video blips to Caleb and a DVD would be mailed to him of the students with their messages. They also made posters and wrote him letters.
“Caleb is a good kid who never gets in trouble and he’s always willing to help people out,” Raymond HS Substitute Principal Ron Bell told the Herald.
An account for Doyle has been established at all Security State Bank locations, including Raymond, South Bend, Grayland, Pe Ell, Chehalis and Centralia.
“Any donations would be greatly appreciated by the family,” Jacob said. “I would like to thank the community for giving us so much support. We can’t stress that enough. It’s not every day that you have a boy like that.”
Also in the works is a benefit dinner that will be held at the RHS or the Raymond Elks.
There is a Krispy Kreme fundraiser for Caleb's family for the cost of $10 per dozen, with $5 of each dozen to benefit Doyle’s family. To purchase donuts contact Erin VanBronckhorst at 360-208-4389.
Rachel Katyryniuk is establishing a Scentsy fundraiser to help out with finances. Shopping can be conducted by going through her direct or from her website at 42624.scentsy.us
To get more information on fundraisers for Doyle, please go to the Get Well Caleb Doyle Facebook page.