Chelmsford

Mass. Man Seriously Hurt in Propane Torch-Fueled Fire Dies

With much of Massachusetts in a drought, small fires "can quickly grow to dangerous sizes," the state fire marshal noted

POLICE SIREN GENERIC
NBC 4 New York

A man has died from injuries he received in an outdoor fire that was fed by a propane torch in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Wednesday, authorities say.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene on Streans Street after noon found two people hurt and a shed engulfed in flames, according to local and state fire officials and Middlesex County prosecutors. An older man from Chelmsford, who wasn't identified, was flown to a hospital but died the next day.

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The officials said Friday the outdoor fire became uncontrollable while the man was using a propane torch, though they didn't say what the man was working on. It took under half an hour for the fire to be put out.

Chelmsford Fire Chief Gary Ryan offered his department's condolences to the man's family and friends.

"This was a tragedy for them, and they remain in our thoughts. I’d also like to remind the community to use caution and follow manufacturer's instructions when using any kind of torch. A propane torch can reach temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and easily ignite combustible materials," he said in a statement.

With much of Massachusetts in a drought, small fires "can quickly grow to dangerous sizes," State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey noted in the statement.

Some communities are asking residents to limit water use.
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