WEST JORDAN, Utah, Aug. 18, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A West Jordan man remained in critical condition Thursday after he poured gasoline on burning weeds and set himself on fire on Wednesday night.
The West Jordan Fire Department responded to a dispatch call at about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday. The 67-year-old victim, living at 8490 S. 2700 West, had been in his backyard with some friends, burning weeds in his fire pit.
Bryan Crump, West Jordan Fire Department battalion chief, said when the victim added gasoline on the fire, the flame traveled up the stream of gas and into the container, which blew up.
That set the man on fire. Crump said the victim burned for about a minute before his friends could get him to calm down enough to stop, drop and roll.
The victim suffered second-degree burns on his chest, face and arms, covering about 40 percent of his body, Crump said.
Because of the severity of the burns and concerns for the man’s airway, he was transported by medical helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital Burn Center, Crump said.
Crump advised people with fires to resist the urge to add accelerants.
“Don’t use any flammable liquids, gas or hairspray. Don’t use any liquid, and don’t pour it on open flames,” he said.
People who do catch fire should act quickly to minimize injury, Crump said.
“Stop, drop and roll. Cover your face with your hands. Do everything you can to protect your airway.”
Rescue workers always wish they could do more for burn victims, Crump said.
“What we do is make sure they can breathe,” he said. “It’s very hard, because we are limited. We can protect the airway, but the rest has to be done by doctors and nurses. We get them (victims) to the burn center as fast was we can.”