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Police officer who fell into barbecue to run marathon for burns victims

Kate Riley suffered third degree burns from a 'chiminea'

26 April, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Kate Riley

A POLICE officer who was severely injured after falling into a barbecue is running the London Marathon for fellow burns victims.

Kate Riley has warned about the dangers of chimineas – rustic-style outdoor heaters – after recovering from the freak accident.

The 32-year-old, who has served in the Met on both sides of the Camden and Islington border in Tufnell Park, was left with third-degree burns after her chair fell off decking at a barbecue party last August.

The burns that Ms Riley suffered

“It sounds strange but I didn’t feel the pain straight away, I think my brain blocked it out,” she said.

“All I can remember is I got up to say goodbye to my mum and dad and when I sat back down I didn’t realise how close the chair was to the edge of the decking, and I fell. It was only on the fire for about six seconds, but the injury and the effects will last a long time. This has left me with two kinds of scars, physically and emotionally. I’m really frightened of going near fires now.”

She added: “My friend’s little boy lit a candle the other day and I had quite a strong reaction to it, I felt scared. I have an open fire at home and I’ve not lit it since this happened.”

A chiminea

Ms Riley said she was taken to A&E and was given morphine for the pain and was told several layers of her skin had been scorched away.

She said: “I would urge anyone using a chiminea to keep a good distance from it, and don’t let children near them. You don’t realise how hot they are from the look of them – for what they do they are really are not worth it.”

Ms Riley said she had been helped overcome psychological and emotional scars by a special cream made out of green tea and other vegan ingredients, adding that the “Solution for Scares” product had given her the confidence to run in this Sunday’s race.


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