Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

Be careful around barbecue,NSW Minister Kean warns

Burnt victim around barbecue
Burnt victim around barbecue

A woman who was horribly burned by a fireball after accelerant was thrown on a coal barbecue has echoed the NSW Government’s call for great care to be taken around summer barbies.


Renee Mandelson, 35, of Manly, suffered severe burns to her legs, back, left arm, neck and face when a man tending a barbie seven metres away poured store-bought gel fire starter on the flames.

In her frantic efforts to extinguish the flames on her back and arm, Ms Mandelson fell to the ground and rolled – not realising the ground had also been set alight by the flying fireball, catching the rest of her body alight.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said Ms Mandelson’s traumatic injury was a shocking reminder of the need to always play it safe with all types of barbecues.

“It’s easy to forget the safety message when we are all out having a good time but flames and fire accelerants should never be mixed,” Mr Kean said.

“Renee was chatting to old school friends at a lunchtime barbecue to celebrate a baby’s first birthday at what should have been a delightful event in a beautiful harbourside park.

“The fireball which erupted at the barbecue actually passed over the heads of babies before it landed on her back, setting her alight.”

Ms Mandelson was rushed by ambulance to Royal North Shore Hospital where she spent days in intensive care before being admitted to the severe burns unit.

She wore compression garments for 23 hours a day for almost a year after the March, 2016, incident, and had multiple surgeries and skin grafts to treat the severe burns she’d suffered to 25 per cent of her body.

“I want to raise awareness about fire safety. Accidents can happen to anyone so you need to be vigilant around barbecues,” she said.

“Put simply – do not use accelerant on the open flames of a barbecue.”