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'I am Dominick. I am STRONG' | 6-year-old opens up about being lit on fire, his long recovery

After arriving at the hospital and getting bandaged up, Dominick told his mom that when he was on fire, he knew what to do.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Just before 4 p.m. on April 24, Bridgeport police officers were dispatched to Louisiana Ave. on the report of a child burned.

Six-year-old Dominick Krankall was taken to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, where he spent nearly two weeks recovering. The road to recovery has been extremely difficult for the young child and his family.

FOX61’s Lauren Zenzie sat down with Dominick and his family in an exclusive interview to talk about what happened the day of the incident and how it has impacted them. 

Multiple kids were seen playing with gasoline and lighting objects without supervision on Louisiana Avenue that day, a police report said.

“When they lit me on fire, that was scary,” said Dominick. “He poured gasoline on a ball, picked it up, and then threw it like a firecracker.”

RELATED: New York Yankees invite Bridgeport kid burn victim to the stadium

Dominick said he had no idea the ball was coming his way.

The boy’s mom, Maria Rua said she heard his screams from inside the house and ran as fast as she could outside to help him.

“If he didn’t roll and put the fire out, it could have been horrible,” she recalled.

After arriving at the hospital and getting bandaged up, Dominick told his mom that when he was on fire, he saw God on fire stop, drop, and roll, so Dominick knew what to do.

“Literally we were in the hospital room. I was speechless” said Maria.

Dominick’s dad Aaron was stunned when he heard that because they don’t actively practice religion at home.

“When he said that, it was like bone-chilling. It’s amazing but scary” said Aaron.

The journey since the event happened has been extremely difficult for Dominick, his parents, and his siblings as well.

“I still have dreams and I’ll wake up sometimes hearing that voice again. It’s really upsetting” said Aaron.

Since that moment, his recovery has been what his parents and his doctors call a true miracle, but it hasn’t been an easy ride.

“He goes through a lot of things mentally,” said Maria.

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When Dominick was asked how he gets through the triggers, like smelling gasoline and seeing a flame, he said: “I tell daddy to take it away”.

Support has poured in for Dominick and his family from across Connecticut, the country, and the world. On a local level, the community rallied outside Bridgeport Hospital for a parade, while Dominick soaked it all in from his hospital window.

A GoFundMe was started in support of Dominick, with hopes of raising $50,000.

Once the child’s story garnered the attention of people all around the world, donations started pouring in. Nearly $600,000 has been raised so far.

 “Our whole world did a flip in just a couple of minutes in a sense that what happened to him, then setting up a GoFundMe,” Aaron said. “For something so terrible to happen to him, now, there’s a way bigger light at the end of the tunnel for him and his brothers and sisters.”

RELATED: Bridgeport 6-year-old with severe burns released from hospital

Dominick’s family has high hopes of getting a new home in a safe community with the money that has been raised for them.

Dominick’s smile and bubbly spirits have continued to persevere through these difficult times, and when asked if he had any advice for other kids dealing with a tough time, he had this message: “Be strong. Because if they be strong, they won’t feel pain.”

Pain and recovery is a part of Dominick’s long medical journey ahead. He still wears a bandage on his forehead, covering the deep burns that are continuing to heal slower than the rest of his body. Dominick could face multiple surgeries, but through all this, the 6-year-old boy continues to remind himself, and live by his new motto “I am Dominick. I am STRONG.”

Lauren Zenzie is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lzenzie@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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