San Diego

Three-year-old twin boys were in critical condition Friday with second- and third-degree burns after they apparently ignited a blanket they were playing on with a butane lighter, a San Diego Fire Department spokesman said.

Francisco Sanchez suffered second- and third-degree burns over 50% of his body, and his twin brother, Joseph, was burned over 20% of his body. Both were in critical condition in the burn unit of UC San Diego Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Eileen Callahan said.

Ron Davis, a Fire Department spokesman, said the twins’ mother, Rose Sanchez, took the two directly to a private doctor in the Lomita Village area, without calling the Fire Department. The doctor called the Fire Department after seeing the boys’ extensive burns.

After arriving at the doctor’s office, a San Diego Fire Department captain called Life Flight to rush the twins to the burn unit. The captain also sent a fire engine to the house, in the 8000 block of Dodie Drive in San Diego, Davis said.

Firefighters found smoke coming from a window, Davis said. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the house sustained $1,500 in damage. A butane lighter was found near the charred blanket, he said.