FOLSOM, Calif. (CBS13) — A family is struggling to recover after a truck explosion nearly killed a father and a son last week.

Charity Strickland said her 6-year-old son Chase and his father Dan were engulfed in flames when the gas tank in their family truck suddenly blew up as they were working on it.

The hearing-impaired mother told CBS13 through a signing interpreter that the shockwave felt like it shook the entire neighborhood.

“It looked like the whole entire street was on fire,” Strickland said, adding that she saw “Dan roll out from underneath the truck, on fire, screaming.”

A friend who was injured in the blast saw that Chase was also on fire and raced to help put out the flames on the child. Terrified and in pain, Charity said Chase began screaming that he thought Dan had been killed.

“He was out on the street screaming, ‘Daddy’s dead,’” she said.

Chase spent a week at Shriners Children’s Hospital and has returned home, but Dan suffered burns on 45 percent of his body and is still in a medically-induced coma.

Doctors expect that Dan, who has spent years volunteering at hospitals, will eventually recover, but his hands are burned so severely that he won’t be able to communicate with Charity through sign language for a long time, if at all.

“Relationships are based on communication, and right now that’s been put on hold,” Charity said.

Doctors said it may take as long as four months before Dan can return home.

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the family can contribute to the Acosta Family Foundation:

The Acosta Foundation
2795 East Bidwell Street #100-266
Folsom, Ca 95630
theacostafoundation@hotmail.com
(916)370-4405

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