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Bronx Girl Named Honorary Firefighter 2 Months After Being Severely Scalded

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A 12-year-old girl was sworn in as an honorary FDNY firefighter Thursday, two months after she was severely burned in a hot water prank gone wrong.

As CBS2's Cindy Hsu reported, Jamone Merritt got an ID, a badge and her own personal sweat shirt.

It was a far cry from two months ago, when Jamone was burned over 80 percent of her face. Her family said she was a victim of a "hot water challenge."

Police said it happened on Finley Avenue in the Bronx. Jamone was at a friend's slumber party across the street when one of the girls allegedly poured scalding water on her while she slept.

Jamone spent 11 days in the hospital and got a visit from members of an African-American group of firefighters called the Vulcan Society.

"We went being grim and you know, like, didn't know what to expect, but she was so happy," said Regina Wilson of the Vulcan Society of the FDNY. "Her spirits were so high."

Jamone kept those spirits high, even during an interview with CBS2's Andrea Grymes shortly after she was released from the hospital.

"I feel good," Jamone told Grymes on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

While In the hospital, Jamone told the Vulcan Society's Wilson she wanted to be a firefighter.

So they made it happen, and as an honorary member, Jamone is welcome at any firehouse in the city. She now has 16,000 new brothers and sisters.

"We're going to keep in touch with her, and when it's time for her to apply, we're going to be right there with the papers," Wilson said.

When asked why she wants to be a firefighter, Jamone said: "Because I want to work with them, since they honor me. They make me feel good now. I've got the suit on and I just feel special.

The investigation into the case is ongoing.

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