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Kittanning 5-year-old burned by lighter recovering

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Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

A 5-year-old boy is recovering from surgery in a Pittsburgh area hospital because his clothing caught fire while he played with a cigarette lighter late Wednesday night.

The boy, Anthony Skursky, son of Jim A. Skursky Jr. and Nicole M. Goldinger of Kittanning had burns covering 18 percent of his body, said his aunt, Thomasina Goldinger.

“He's going to be OK,” Goldinger said. “He's a strong little boy; he'll pull through it.”

Anthony is being kept fairly secluded in UPMC Mercy hospital to minimize his risk of infection, she said.

She said Anthony had been spending the night at Rayburn Manor Apartments on Route 85, the apartment of his father's girlfriend.

Anthony and the woman's 10-year-old son had been playing with the lighter when Anthony's T-shirt caught on fire.

According to Goldinger, the woman admitted to Anthony's family that she had been sleeping on the couch when the accident happened.

“She was asleep on the couch while he stood in her living room burning,” she said, adding that Skursky's girlfriend “refuses to own up to what she did.”

Goldinger said the family is trying to sort out what happened that night.

She said they do know, however, that the flames were eventually doused by a neighbor, Bruce Brison.

“I'd really like to thank him,” Goldinger said.

Meanwhile, Skursky, 36, has been arrested by Pittsburgh police when he allegedly tried to steal video game equipment from a family waiting room in UPMC Mercy while visiting his son on Thursday.

Pittsburgh police said they were called when hospital staff saw the video game controller in Skursky's pocket.

He is charged with theft and receiving stolen property and was placed in the Allegheny County Jail. Bail was set at $10,000.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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