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Teen Dies After Huffing Freon

A family wants the death of their 15-year-old son, Jesse Burks, to help bring awareness to the dangers of huffing. That is when a person inhales dangerous chemicals to get high.

A Faulkner County family wants the death of their 15-year-old son, Jesse Burks, to help bring awareness to the dangers of huffing. That is when a person inhales dangerous chemicals to get high.  The teen died Wednesday afternoon at a home in the town of Greenbrier after inhaling freon.

"You can get a hold of any household product, you know, or gas, or freon like this case was. You know, it's easy to find. Anybody can get it," says Lt. Matt Rice with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department.

Rice says you don't hear about it until someone dies. "These kids think they're having a good time, by huffing, and, like I said, this was a worst case scenario, but it is possible," adds Rice.

FOX16 talked with the teen’s father off camera Thursday. He told us the teens just made a bad decision. He doesn't want other parents to have to go through losing a child.

The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department tells us the boys got the freon out of an air conditioner at the home and then brought it to the pool with them. One of their sisters noticed something was wrong. One of the boys had a plastic bag over his head. The other was floating passed out in the pool. She got both out before deputies got there.

Rice just wants parents to keep an eye on their kids. "Trash bags for that matter in their room. I mean, that's not something that kids would normally keep in their room, you know, cleaning supplies or whatever they might have," says Rice.

For Rice and his co-workers on the force, cases like this hit close to home. "We have people here who have 15-year-old sons or whatever, you know, and, and you'd like to think that they don't do that or nothing would ever happen to them, but it kind of opens your eyes a little bit more to this type of thing and you want to make sure that you're child doesn't do it," says Rice.

Rice says the freon could have killed the boy, but he also could have drowned. Autopsy results could take up to a month.  The second teen, who is also 15, is out of the hospital. He is expected to be okay.

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