Fire

BELTON — A online fundraiser was launched Wednesday morning after a Belton teenager was severely burned in an overnight house fire.

The incident occurred at about 3:22 a.m. in the 800 block of West First Avenue.

The home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived after a 911 call was made, according to a city of Belton news release.

Justin Booth, a 16-year-old sophomore at Belton High School, was one of two people inside the home. He suffered third-degree burns to his face and hands and was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple before he was transferred to the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

A GoFundMe account was launched by Leslie Lovett to help pay for Justin Booth’s medical expenses. The fundraiser, started Wednesday, raised about $2,685 of its $50,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon.

“The Booths were awaken to a raging fire in their father’s home next door,” Lovett wrote. “Thankfully, they were able to pull their father/grandfather out through a window. But his grandson, Justin Booth, age 16, was found in the hallway passed out and with burns over his face and hands. It is believed he was trying to reach his beloved grandfather.

“This young man means so much to us,” Lovett said. “He is such a kind, joyful soul with a smile always on his face and willing to lend a hand or hug to all. Seeing his face during our trip to Disney World over New Year’s was such a thrill.” 

Lovett said family and friends are heartbroken and ask for prayers and donations to help Justin and his family, which recently adopted a baby girl.

“There will be so many expenses, treatments, and struggles in the weeks, months and years to follow,” Lovett said.  “We will all help them rebuild but the medical and emergency expenses can be devastating.”

The fire, which started in the back of the home, is under investigation. The Salado Fire Department also responded to the Belton incident.

“This go fund me will help this family so much,” Lovett said. “More than anything, we are asking for prayers for Justin, his family and the doctors. He has been taken to a burn unit in Dallas.  The Booths can use any help you can provide.” 

To donate, visit https://bit.ly/3y3K1WW.