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Fundraiser set up for toddler, babysitter burned in Lawrenceville fire

Avery Grimes, who turns two years old next week, was burned during a fire at her Lawrenceville home. An online fundraiser has been established to help cover her medical bills. (Special photo)

Avery Grimes, who turns two years old next week, was burned during a fire at her Lawrenceville home. An online fundraiser has been established to help cover her medical bills. (Special photo)

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Wayne Knighton was babysitting his friends’ 2-year-old daughter last week when a fire erupted at their Lawrenceville home. He was badly burned, and an online fundraiser has been established to help cover his medical bills. (Special photo)

LAWRENCEVILLE — A toddler and her baby sitter saved each other’s lives during a fire at their Lawrenceville home last week. Now an online fundraiser is trying to help cover their medical bills.

On March 6, Wayne Knighton was baby-sitting young Avery Grimes — who turns 2 years old next week — while her father was out of town and her mother was at work. The toddler and Knighton, who also lives at the home on Lawrenceville’s Daniel Lane, were both taking naps when an electrical fire began in the attic.

Avery “woke up and found Wayne,” who was carrying her through the home when an explosion occurred. Knighton reportedly jumped on the child to protect her then pushed her through the door and crawled out behind her, according to the fundraising page on YouCaring.com.

“Avery was diagnosed with first- and second-degree burns on her face and left hand but will make a full recovery without skin grafts,” the page said. “(Knighton) was diagnosed with second- and third-degree burns on his back, neck and arms and will require skin grafts to heal and repair his burns.”

Neither of the burn victims had medical insurance. Knighton’s bills are expected to exceed $80,000. The toddler’s are estimated about $15,000.

The family was renting the home and did not carry renter’s insurance. The cost for “basic necessities” such as new clothes, housewares and furniture is expected to be upwards of $5,000.

“We could not imagine going through this tragedy without the support of our family, friends and even complete strangers who have shown incredible compassion and generosity,” the fundraising page said. “We sincerely appreciate all of your support, no matter how large or small.”

Donations can be made online by visiting YouCaring.com and searching “Help the Grimes’ and Knighton’s Recover from Fire Injuries.”

As of Friday afternoon, more than $2,000 had been donated.

It was originally reported that the man and toddler injured in the fire were father and daughter.