Elderly man burned by portable propane heater

An elderly resident received significant burns to his body when he tried to use a portable propane heater inside his home early Thursday.

Fire Chief Rob Gerard said Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services received a First Responder call at 6:30 pm about a man on fire at a residence in the 900 Block of Begbie Road.

“Upon arrival fire crews discovered an elderly male who suffered significant burns to his body and was treated by First Responders and Paramedics on the scene,” he said in a statement Friday. “The remainder of the fire crews checked the mobile home for fire extension that had received minor fire damage The occupant of the residence was transported by BC Ambulance to Queen Victoria Hospital.

Girard said the clothing material worn by the senior citizen was ignited by a propane portable heater that he was using inside the residence to thaw a frozen water line.  He said using portable propane heaters used inside a residence is “an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal act.”

“This time of the year when it is cold, residents need to exercise extreme caution with space heaters of any kind and the overloading of electrical extension cords in their homes,” Girard said.  “The use of these types of products are, more often than not, the cause of residential house fires.”

The Chief also cautioned wood stove and pellet stove users to regularly clean their stoves to prevent a fire in their houses.