Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 32

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 32

The Accident

  • Just when you thought the family's hard times couldn't get any harder, they do.
  • Thinking that a pail of kerosene next to the stove is water, Ma pours it to make coffee and catches the stove on fire.
  • She runs outside for help. Not knowing she's coming back and wanting to get the flaming pail out of the house, Billie Jo grabs it to take it outside. As she throws it outside, it splashes onto Ma, catching her on fire.
  • Billie Jo tries to save Ma and the baby by smothering the flames with her hands, burning herself in the process.