Saratoga Family in Car Fire- BURN victims

Derek and Emily Jones and their entire family were injured in a car fire yesterday (Saturday) in our marina in our city after a family fun day on the lake. The worst victim their youngest daughter, who is currently in a medically induced coma. Her recovery time alone will be lengthy. The mom and daughter both required life flights, father went by ambulance, and even the other children were treated for less severe burns as well...and are now with extended family. The entire family was impacted. They are our neighbors here in our city of Saratoga Springs Utah. The updates we are getting currently is the medical, family vehical loss, long term burn recovery, and other upcoming expenses (needed medical equipment) are going to be astronomical! We are asking everyone to support their family as they face the trial of a lifetime. We will update here as we get more info. Grateful the news are willing to run this story tonight to help this family. Thanks!    Update. Sunday night.
The news stories tonight: KSL link to a live video about the incident and their family:

KSL Facebook Post

KSL print story

FOX print story

Update Monday Night:
The extended family is now coming into Saratoga Springs, Utah from outside of the state are beginning to arrive.

They have made contact with us and are JUST VERY VERY grateful to ALL of YOU ...for your out pouring of love and generosity and concern.
Amazed at Your Love for their children and grandchildren.
They are a wonderful family.
Amazed at the kindness and concern from our community, and their friends and family.
They want me to say how truly thankful they are for your generosity.
Will send me updates on the families condition tomorrow. 
We will continue to Update here!
As they update us.

Tuesday Morning

This message is from Doug Jones
Derek's brother for the public:

Dear Amy-

Also here is a brief update we sent out this AM to several media outlets who were asking, feel free to share:

All five family members were in the vehicle at the time of the explosion. The two older children escaped with only minor injuries, they have been released from the hospital and are currently staying with relatives.
The father received minor injuries from the initial explosion, but his hands were severely burned while struggling to free their 4-yr old daughter from her child seat.
He will be receiving ongoing treatment but is in stable condition and has been released from the hospital.
The mother was severely injured by the explosion but managed to remove herself from the vehicle and extinguish the flames on her body, sustaining severe burns to her left arm and torso.
She remains hospitalized at the University of Utah burn center but is in stable condition.

The 4 yr old daughter was severely injured by the explosion and the subsequent flames as she remained trapped in her child seat, sustaining severe burns to the front of her body including face, arms, legs, and her feet.
She remains in critical condition at University of Utah burn center.


As they continue to update the media and us...
We will share these updates here with those who are praying for them all. Please keep sharing this page, so we can continue to grow the support.

PS Also as a side note from me:

Too much speculation about the fire cause in the media...
I actually also got a message from GO FUND ME that let me know in one of the media reports they got some information wrong.
There were NO GAS cans inside the van.
(The initial reports made it sound like gas cans exploded)
But during the Saratoga Springs fire investigation they actually found NO gas cans or evidence of any gas cans inside the vehical.

They were having problems starting the car, and problems with the carburator.
People keep asking me,
but I do not know what started the fire.
As far as gas cans vs the gas tank vs something in the ignition... exploding...
The info is not clear yet.

If they let me know. I will let you know.
I just don't want speculation and media reports to be false. I did see FOX corrected that portion of their story.

The family is still suffering and need matter what technicalities caused the problem or fire.
So we will focus on them.

I just thought that I should make sure the possible mistakes in media being shared are corrected as new info comes to light

Friday Morning
Reporting the positive news (trying to focus on the good and the miraculous!)
It has now been just 6 days since the Jones family world was literally blown up.

Little Miracles make Big Difference:

Update from Amy Downing Loveless:

One of the unexpected blessings that I have seen personally that has come from this tragedy is I have had a front row seat view to the out pouring of volunteers...and kindness.
And miracles.

In the first few days there were so many messages of love sent, and support, and also many texts and emails filled with life threatening burn treatment advice.

It would have been easy to just try ignore some of that, as surgeons were attempting to save lives.
Some of the emails were from MLM distributors and many were well meaning Aunt Bess's recipe for life altering cough syrups.
But EVERY single email had to be opened and considered, in case one was vital. Everything needed to be researched to see if there was any chance it could help.
It was like cultivating an organized vegitable gardening in a field of wild flowers... filled with hungry deer. You don't know where to put up fences and where to put welcome gates.

One particular text found me, and I could not copy and paste and resend it to the family fast enough.

The coincidences of circumstances seemed to be too unreal to ignore.

2 years ago another Saratoga Springs family had their own tragedy. In 2017, another life flight occured from our city and another person's son was treated for burns covering their body.

During the course of the last two years, they underwent an experimental but successful new treatment at the U of U burn center...
And this young man also from Saratoga Springs was only the second person in the entire Nation to be approved to try it.

There were three immediate blessings in this mans text.
One. He is a local who KNOWS exactly the amount of months and years this long term recovery a burn of this magnitude will take, and the emotional, physical, and financial mountains the Jones will climb.
Two. He knew the name of the ONE doctor in the entire state who already works at the U of U burn center who had been trained during the trial of this new treatment that helped their family, and because of the past two years of experiences that this doctor got helping their son, he is now considered the best currently in the WORLD at using it.
Three. The new treatment is now the HOPE of burn centers around the nation and the Jones family.

How it works:
The treatment involves surgically removing a piece of the burn victims own healthy skin and that skin being sent to the companies lab...where they create a custom burn treatment with the patients own healthy skin stem cells infused into the ointment. It helps the body to regenerate skin with their own skin cells infused into the medicine. Why this treatment is special: it has over time encouraged the development of new dermis that can sweat and act like skin should, not only as a protection to the body but as a temperture regulator for the body.
Previous severe burn scars in the past have had scar tissue that did not act like skin, as it often lost its ability to sweat and function like most living skin does (which is one of the primary functions of skin as a vital organ of the body).

I will post a link about this new treatment here for those interested in the science:

Also an update from the extended family:

Dear Amy,

We have an update to share on how Derek and Emily's family is doing, along with an exciting new development.
Derek has been released however remains on site at the burn center with his wife and daughter. He is expected to make a full recovery from the burn injuries to his hands.
Emily remains at the burn center in stable condition. She will require extensive ongoing treatment for her severe burns.

Their 4 yr old daughter remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma. Her outlook remains uncertain, but she has been approved through a case-by-case selection process to begin a groundbreaking skin regrowth treatment program recently pioneered at the University of Utah burn center (SkinTE, by PolarityTE), which if successful could radically improve her long-term outlook and future quality of life, through childhood and beyond. 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, prayers, and support as we enter this next critical phase of recovery!

Doug Jones (Spokesman for the Jones family)

Friday afternoon:

They just released the 911 calls from the fire here:

Update Sunday Night.
It has been one week.

This update is direct from
Derek and Emily themselves:

As a precursor I just want to inform the public and the press of what is not seen or not written by them.

The Jones are very private by nature, and the difficulty this has been for them to invite the public into their current pain...has not been easy for them.

To understand the magnitude of this share today-
And even this family photograph they have chosen to give to the media-
I just want others to understand how difficult this decision has been for them.
Until today,
the Jones family have never posted pictures of their family or children on public social media, for the public to see.
This is their first time they have done this. Ever. They are a protective and wonderfully modest family.

They have even intentioned to keep pictures of their injuries and their daughters severe burns and injuries from the press, in order that someday when their family is healed- their children will have retained their rights to not be seen as just victims...or a news story.

However, they also realized the day their van blew up their privacy did a little too.

So they wanted you to see who they are, before all this started.
They chose this picture because they wanted to share what they are fighting for- for their family- what they hope to get back to (a place of safety again someday)-
They picked this picture of a happier time before the fire...intentionally.
Their family is their life, and their joy.

Derek's mom took notes today, of what Derek and Emily wanted to say to you-
as Derek's hands are still bandaged and he himself cannot yet type or write.
So she took notes for them to let you know some of what they remembered and how they feel about that day:

"First of all we want to thank everyone in the community who rushed to the scene to help us. Including some amazing nurses who happened to be there at the marina and gave us immediate care. "

"One held our little daughter over his knee and cared for her, while awaiting the lifeflight helicopter."

"Others offered immediate help, laid us down and offered water-"

"And last but not least, thankful to everyone who notified 911 of our dire situation."

"We are also grateful to all of the Lifeflight and ambulance attendants who cared for us so quickly and professionally.
The fire and police department officers who arrived quickly and offered their assistance."

"We also want to thank our wonderful families, neighbors, and friends who are offering prayers for our family and giving so much support during this time-
when we are focusing on healing."
Thank You!
From the bottom of our hearts,
Derek and Emily Jones and our family "

Wednesday Update:
Todays update touched our hearts.
As Grandma Jones came home exhausted and discouraged from the hospital, where the Jones family faced yet another long day and some serious setbacks, as another burn teatment and surgery had to be postponed to fight another infection.

She found the most heart warming note from a little girl named Olivia on the Jones front porch who raised $148 by herself by sharing the Jones story with school and neighborhood friends and selling her treats to the community.
Grandma Jones said:
"The beautiful note and the sacrifice represented the sum of so many other tender mercies, kind thoughts, and sacrifices
from recent days. It reminded me I was not alone in this struggle!
My burden suddenly felt much lighter!"

She wanted me to share about Olivia,
and to thank Olivia had her friends,
and to let them know that the older Jones girls (since their mom and the baby sister is still in the hospital and they can't go back to school shopping for school supplies with them)
that Grandma Jones will be using that money to get them ready to go back to they can see such loving friends who were so thoughtful.
Thank you Olivia!

UPDATE Tuesday. August 13th
17 days since the Fire.

Got an email tonight from

Dear Amy,
Here is the update on the family to share:

Derek and Emily's youngest daughter is still sedated(medically induced coma) but is able to hear when spoken to.

When I visited her yesterday she opened her eyes very briefly when I spoke to her and told her that I loved her and was looking forward to when "her owies" were better so I could give her a big hug and kiss.
She has a nurse at her bedside 24/7 to monitor her vital signs and adjust her meds, as needed, minute by minute. (They keep her under to try and help her to not retain horrific memories and to not suffer from the pain.)
"Dora the Explorer" which is her favorite movie is often playing on the TV in her room.

She is having surgery this week to remove eschar (burned tissue) from her legs, feet and arms. She has a long road ahead with more surgeries and rehabilitation.

Emily(her mom) continues to progress in her healing but faces more surgeries also. The dressing changes and physical therapy exercises are painful and along with walking several laps around the burn unit every day leave her exhausted. Worrying about her precious little daughter and the rest of her family leaves her mentally exhausted as well.

Derek makes the hour trip each way to the U of U Burn Center each day which is exhausting both physically and mentally.
He continues to have daily dressing changes on his hands which were burned so badly while rescuing his daughter. (He can not return to work yet, as his hands are needed to do his job, and there is no word at how long this will take to happen.)

The 2 sisters worry about and miss their mommy and little sister so very much and are praying for them to heal fast so they can all be together at home again.

We would like to thank the staff and doctors who are caring for these loved ones for their outstanding and compassionate care for this dear family We also want to thank all the members of their community and many others who are praying for them, giving financial assistance and performing so many other caring and compassionate acts of kindness and love.

Last, but not least, we would ask for your continued prayers for this family, as well as, the doctors and nurses who are caring for them.

With humble gratitude,
Phyllis Jones

She also wants me to share with all of you via text ...that
In addition to this email I am supposed to put a shout out and a big thank you to the sweet best friend who sold lemonaide and the neighbors that drank it readily...while donating generously to the family.
I am amazed at the kids who are trying to give- their very best.
Love the tender hearts that are so young and eager to help.

Thanks Again!

Update Thursday August 21st
26 days from the fire.

Dear Amy,
Here it the pic from last week of friends trying to raise money to help Lilly.

Here is the latest update on Lilly: (the 4 year old who was most injured in the fire, as she was trapped in the car seat, during the explosion.)

Lilly is slowly but steadily making progress. But it has not been easy or all good news.
She has had several surgeries since the fire.

She had two last week which included skin grafting to her left arm and hand with autograft which was taken from an unburned area on her little body.

She unforetunatly lost all 10 of her toes, which were amputated in surgery this past week. The news they could not save them was heart breaking, especially knowing it will affect her balance and walking.
Thankfully, her fingers are healing and she should have full use of them again someday. This has given us heart when we have grieved.

A full-thickness skin biopsy was taken which will be used to produce a product called SkinTE which will contain her own skin cells to help her grow new skin. It is currently in the testing phase for approval by the FDA and has to be approved for use on a case-by-case basis. In preparation for application of the SkinTE a product called BPM which is a matrix that promotes the growth of muscle tissue and will eventually dissolve was placed on her legs. Hopefully, in 3 weeks the SkinTE can be applied.

She is more awake and alert now but still on a ventilator to assist with her breathing.
She loves visits from her sisters, parents and grandparents and is able to nod her head yes or no now.
She loves watching Dora and Minnie Mouse movies on the TV in her room.

She is such a brave little girl, and still faces more surgeries and lots of physical therapy before she can go home.
It's hard to imagine what she has already endured and will still have to endure in the days ahead.
We want to say thank you again...
to each of you for your prayers and support offered in Lilly's and our whole family's behalf.

The Jones family

September 2nd 

Letter from Grandma Jones:

Lilly is so-o-o-o happy to have the endotracheal tube out.
It has freed her in so many ways. The best is that she can talk and giggle and laugh with her sisters, mommy and daddy. She is also able to sit in a wagon with pillows and blankets helping support her while the nurses or her sisters pull her in the halls around the burn unit.
Sometimes the nurses put a mat down on the floor so she and her sisters can play together.
(She can not stand or walk yet as her feet and legs still are too injured from the burns and toe amputation) - but having her family around her really seems to lift her spirits. She has physical therapy every day now to help her strengthen her grip and other muscles in her little body that have atrophied over the past month.
She continues to love watching Minnie and Mickey Mouse movies. She also enjoys playing with a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Duplo set which serves the additional benefit of helping her move and use her they do not lose any mobility.

We have found out that the product which will be used as grafts to replace her skin is NOT going to be SkinTE. It has not been working well (it sluffs off too easily!)
So another burn treatment from Boston that has been around for 25 years will be tried instead. It is anticipated that she will have surgery the middle of September to place their grafts on her legs and feet using their product.

Lillys' mom Emily continues to improve but it is a daily struggle to get through 2 sessions of PT and her dressing change.
Her entire left arm and hand (with the exception of her palm and inner elbow area) had graphs applied from her left thigh which continues to be painful.
Derek and I were able to be in physical therapy with her last week and my heart aches to see what she has to go through to regain her strength and mobility.
It is anticipated that she will be able to come home soon.

As you know because I am a retired nurse...
I will be taught how to do her dressing changes before she comes home, so I can help her.

Derek continues to make the daily commute to visit Emily and Lilly.
Lilly loves for her daddy to sit by her and hold her hand while she watches a movie.
His burns on his hands are healing very well. He has to be careful about exposing them to sunlight and keep them lotioned and sunscreen applied and his recovery is going well.

It touches my heart to see how he interacts with his children and is helping them cope with what has happened to their family.

As a family we are so thankful for all the prayers and support we feel from each of you.

Grandma Jones

PS there is a restaurant
Noodles and Co coming to Saratoga Springs which will be doing a big fundraiser for the family in September and proceeds from the event will be donated to help pay for some of the burn treatments. I will send the information when we get it...
It will be a great way to support the business, and for them to support little Lilly as she faces more surgeries.
Thank you!


Great Way to support a new restaurant coming to Saratoga Springs.
Great way to support the costs of the continued burn treatments of the Jones family!

Noodles Grand Opening this weekend in Saratoga Springs will be giving away FREE food to anyone who donates at the door for the Jones Family...
you must pre register to let them know you are coming at

I have heard a couple different numbers on how wonderfully the fundraiser at Noodles went. But the final number ended up being somewhere between $7400 and $7800!
Thank you Saratoga! 
Natasha and I want you to all know...
You are the best people!

Grandma Jones sent me an update during that week:

Hi Amy,

Just thinking of you and hoping you and your family are doing well. Sounds like the Noodles and Co fundraiser was a huge success. Last I heard the amount was around $7,200 (maybe more?)
Thanks for mentioning it on the GoFundMe.
Thanks to everyone that came!
We are just amazed.

Just a quick update on Derek's family.

Lilly had surgery to place autograft and the product grown in the lab on her legs and Lt arm a week ago. She is not allowed any visitors except for her parents because of the risk for infection at this crucial time. All toys and outside products were also removed from her room for the time being. She is sedated for pain control but still able to rouse and talk to her mommy and daddy. It will be awhile before she can start physical therapy again and learn to walk without her toes.

Her mother was able to finally go home around 3 weeks ago. Her parents take her to the U of U 3 x weekly for physical therapy and to have her dressings changed and wounds checked. On the off days her mother does the dressing changes and helps with any other needs.

Derek was finally able to go back to work 2 weeks ago. As soon as he gets off work he commutes to the U of U to spend the evening with Lilly and doesn't get home until around 10 pm. It's been hard for Lilly to have her mommy gone home and be in the burn unit all alone.

The generosity, kindnesses and prayers shown to them are helping sustain them through these long and difficult days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you are doing.

  • Anonymous
    • $30 
    • 34 mos
  • Chris Zuver
    • $10 
    • 35 mos
  • Jeffrey Meyers
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 38 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Saratoga Neighbors (10)

Amy Downing Loveless
Raised $2,378 from 33 donations
Saratoga Springs, UT
Phyllis Jones
Courtney Byrom
Team member
Raised $855 from 13 donations
Tawnya Mayo
Team member
Raised $160 from 3 donations
Caryl Marson Haering
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Drey Bigney
Team member
Raised $50 from 2 donations
See all

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