A St. Peters man is offering a message of caution after his Memorial Day barbecue took a dangerous turn.
It was a typical Memorial Day weekend at the Williams house.
"Everybody's going to be here by five, so we decided to go ahead and start the fire," Gregg Williams explained. He started the fire on his grill and was expecting company.
"A few times I noticed the flame would come up the stream and I'd quit," he said.
Williams says as the flames escalated, they took hold of the canister of charcoal lighter fluid he was holding in his hands.
"It just blew up and caused the rest of the fluid to go all over me."
The explosion left second and third-degree burns on Williams' arms and legs. He spent 10 days in the burn unit as doctors worked to graft new layers of skin.
"It’s just going to be a lot of waiting to heal," Williams said.
While in the hospital, friends and family assembled a display of flowers and waterfalls in Williams' backyard, a way to counter the fumes from his grill, which once stood in its place.
Williams wants people to learn his story, to warn others how his life was changed in a matter of seconds.
“You think it can’t happen to you, and that’s what I thought, and here I am," he said.
For the time being, Gregg is home bound. Since his grafting procedure, he can’t be exposed to any sun and his burns remain covered with special bandages as they heal.
His family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his medical expenses.