A man was flown to the hospital in serious condition Wednesday after he sustained severe second-degree burns in a garage fire in the South Salem area, officials said.
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Public Information Officer Lt. Branden Jackman told The Times-Gazette in Hillsboro that the man was evacuated via medical helicopter from the scene on Mount Olive Road in Ross County after a garage caught fire.
Jackman said officials were told that a bucket of tar caught fire and caused the blaze. The victim was in the process of repairing his roof, according to Jackman.
According to Jackman, crews dispatched at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday arrived at the scene to find a garage “heavily involved in fire.”
He said the victim had “significant burns to his lower extremities,” and was immediately taken to The Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus. There were no other injuries reported, according to Jackman.
Paint Creek crews were able to put out the fire with assistance from the Bainbridge Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire Department of Fayette County, but when the smoke cleared, the garage appeared to be a total loss. Jackman said siding on a nearby trailer was also damaged.
Jackman said while responders were told the bucket of tar caused the fire, the official determination is pending investigation.
Jackman said if the victim survives his wounds, he has a long road to recovery ahead.
“Burns are a horrible injury. So painful,” Jackman said. “There’s so much to the recovery to come back from a burn. To be burned to the point where you need to be flown, that could be a life-threatening event.”
The victim’s identity was not released.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.