Nobody knew just how three young girls ended up with such serious skin burns they had to be rushed to hospital and hooked up to morphine to manage the pain.
Stephanie Ellwanger from Washington in the US dropped her daughters Jewels, 12 and Jazmyn, 9 off at her mother's place for a pool party along with three of their friends - Reyghan, Candy and Bailey.
The girls spent five hours swimming and playing in the sun.
That night Stephanie noticed redness around the girls' mouths. She applied some lotion, thinking it was sunburn. By the next day, her girls were covered in blisters. She gently washed her daughters in the shower and applied some cortisone cream. On Monday morning Jazmyne said it hurt to talk. The girls condition deteriorated and by Monday morning their mother was seriously concerned.
Stephanie rang the other mothers. All of the children were suffering from what they thought was bad sunburn. One girl was already in the emergency room and about to be moved to a burns ward. Denise Kinser woke to the sound off her daughter Candy screaming in pain.
“It’s the worst sound a mother can ever hear,” she told the Hanford Sentinel. “My little girls crying, saying it hurts, and having no idea what is the matter. No mother should ever go through that.”
By that night all five girls were admitted to hospital with second-degree burns covering 15 percent of their body.
What on earth could have burned these girls so badly?
Stephanie tried to think of what could have happened. Was it severe sunburn? No, they had all been covered in sunblock. Was it the pool water?
The doctors said it must have been some kind of acid. They didn't often see child burns like this. But where would the girls have been exposed to acid?
She then thought of the neighbour's large lime tree that grew over the fence into the backyard next to the pool. The girls had picked some fruit and squeezed them into pretend tea cups and played a game of lemonade stand.