Elderly man burned all over; Arsonist strikes school

WEST COUNTY – Neighbors of an 84-year-old Montgomery man found him severely burned just after noon on Sunday.  The elderly man was burning brush on his property at 23816 Bailey Grove Rd, when he apparently mistakenly poured gasoline on a burning brush pile.  The ensuing flash of vapors from the fuel ignited his clothing and he received severe burns all over his body.

Responders from MCHD-EMS, Montgomery Fire Department and MCSO placed a PHI Air ambulance on standby when the call was dispatched and upon seeing the victim, immediately requested the helicopter to launch.

The patient was transported by PHI Air Medical Helicopter to a Galveston Burn Center.  The burn injuries are life threatening and the patient was in critical condition at the time of transport. 

With spring approaching, many people will consider burning as a means of cleaning or clearing property.  In addition to State Laws regulating outdoor burning, residents should take additional safety precautions.

First of all, never use a flammable liquid such as gasoline or gas / oil mixtures to start a fire or keep it going. Flammable vapors are invisible and can spread over a wide area before they are ignited.  Small children are particularly vulnerable as many times they gather to watch adults starting a brush fire.  The vapors are heavier than air and can accumulate several feet or yards away.  Several area children have been severely burned in recent years while standing too close to a fire when flammable vapors ignited.

Before deciding to burn, decide on a safety plan, and keep children away from the fires.  Check first to make sure that the burning is legal in your area. Under State Law, businesses are not allowed to burn trash. Residential garbage burning is also illegal in subdivisions or on less than 5 acres. For more information on outdoor burning go to the MCFMO website and click on “Outdoor Burning”.

In addition to this tragic incident, the Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating several other structure fires that occurred this weekend in Montgomery County. 

An MISD Elementary School on Hardin Store Rd in Magnolia suffered damage Sunday afternoon when vandals set fire to the building entrance after failed attempts to gain entry into the building.  The fire was quickly extinguished by responding Magnolia Firefighters.  Anyone with information on the person or persons who started this fire should call:

Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Offie at (936) 538-8288  


Montgomery County Crime Stoppers:

Crime Stoppers Tip Line 1-800-392-STOP (7867)

Crime Stoppers Admin Line (936)539-STOP (7867)

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