Port Stephens teenager Hugh Haxton in critical condition after fire-pit explosion

Hugh HaxtonTeenager Hugh Haxton remainedin a critical condition in Royal North Shore Hospital on Wednesday morning after a fire pit exploded at his Corlette home on Sunday.
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Five people, including 16-year-old Hugh and his father, Alex, 46, suffered burns during the explosion at their house onSandy Point Road just after 5pm.

Nine News reported that a flammable liquid, believed to be methylated spirits, had been thrown on the fire.

The teenager, his father and another man, aged 44,were taken to Royal North Shore while a man and woman in their 40swere transported to John Hunter Hospital.

Fairfax Media reported that Hugh had suffered severe burns to his face, arms and torso.

A spokeswoman for Royal North Shore said Alex Haxton and the other man were in a stable condition.

Police said theman and woman who remained in Newcastle hadbeen released from hospital.

Nine News reported Hugh’s mother and sister were returning from a holiday in America.

Detectives are investigating how the explosion occurred.

Former Newcastle Knights youth coach Garth Brennan, now Gold Coast head coach,echoed the thoughts of many when asked about the Haxtons at a Titans press conference.

“They live next door to my mum and dad. He’s a wonderful young man. Hughie, mate, stay strong. Fight hard, mate. I know you will,” an emotional Brennan said.

The Haxtons were long-time sponsors of Maitland Rugby Club through their family business, HaxtonHaulage.

Alex played for the Blacks for about 10 years and Hugh plays for the Nelson Bay Gropers.

Maitland Rugby Club issued a statement calling for the community to support the family.

“The time is now when we need positive thoughts and prayers for one of our own,” the statement on Facebook read.

“The Haxtons have been the one of the most supportive and generous families ever to call MRC home.

“In years gone past when the chips were down we could always call on the Haco’s in times of need … it is now we need to rally together and return the favour.

“We will endeavor to keep you informed of progress but in the meantime say a prayer, muster your positive energy and send it on.”

Messages of support have rolled in on social media, with people calling for a speedy recovery.