After 5 weeks, Riverhead burn victim moved from ICU

COURTESY PHOTO Michael Hubbard

Michael Hubbard, the 14-year-old Riverhead High School freshman who suffered severe burns during a gel candle explosion Memorial Day weekend, has been moved from the intensive care unit at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Michael is now in the hospital’s burn center as his family waits for him to wake from a coma, family members said Saturday.

“As far as the burns, I got a lot more info last night from the burn nurses,” his mother, Nancy Reyer, wrote on Michael’s recovery blog. “It looks like a lot of his burns will heal. He will have scarring on his chest.”

Family members also said Michael’s skin grafts are healing and that he even had a haircut this week.

Michael suffered third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body while pouring gel fuel into an already lit candle May 28. He had been in the intensive care unit ever since.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled all FireGel brand fuels, made by the Georgia-based Napa Home & Garden, in the wake of Michael’s accident and several similar ones.

His mother was also injured during the incident and taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center. Michael is medically insured, but his mother, who had just started a new job, is not. She has since been on unpaid leave.

The Riverhead community has taken up a collection to help with the family’s medical bills.

To send a donation, make checks payable to Michael Hubbard Fund, c/o Fran Reyer, 81 Rabbit Run, Riverhead NY 11901. Or visit

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