Powhatan man burned after adding accelerant to brush fire - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Powhatan man burned after adding accelerant to brush fire

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POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) -

Burning brush is something people do fairly often in the Oakland Estates sub-division. But on Tuesday night, things got out of control.

Emergency officials reported a 67-year-old man tried to burn brush outside his home. He tossed motor oil on the brush to set it on fire, but his clothes caught fire in the process. The man's wife somehow got him out of his burning clothes.

A short time later, he was flown to the hospital.

According to firefighters, the use of some sort of accelerant to burn brush isn't an uncommon practice. In fact, they say people do it all the time, but they warn that practice just isn't safe. Firefighters say this accident proves how dangerous using that technique can be.

The victim was burned over 50 percent of his body. Neighbors say he's at the burn unit at VCU Medical Center.

It's a terrible accident, but it's probably 100 percent a preventable accident."said Phil Warner, Powhatan's acting fire chief.

He says when you do burn brush, skip the accelerant and just grab a match or lighter.

"Just let your material that you are trying to burn, just let it dry out and pick a nice day that's not very windy," Warner said

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