A 50-year-old Kenai man was flown to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle for treatment of second-degree burns he received in an accidental backyard fire Saturday.
David Goggia, a homeowner from the VIP subdivision, reportedly used an accelerant to burn a brush pile when the fuel flashed, burning his face, arms, torso and upper legs.
Assistant Fire Chief Michael Tilly said medics estimated the extent of the burns to have covered 25 percent of Goggia's body.
Kenai medics responded to the emergency call at about 9 p.m. with an ambulance and took Goggia to Central Peninsula General Hospital. Tilly said the victim was there about two minutes when doctors called for a flight to take him to the burn unit in Washington.
Central Emergency Services responded to a subsequent call to extinguish the fire in Goggia's yard.
According to Tilly, one of the most common and most dangerous accelerants people use is gasoline.
"What they don't realize is the size of the vapor cloud that is created, especially on hot days," he said.
"When they go to light it, the whole cloud flashes."
Tilly said people should never use gasoline to help a fire start.
"The safest way is to start with a small fire," he said.
"Use Class A combustibles paper and wood and continue feeding the fire, and it will get going.
"People just get impatient. They want to see (the fire) get going," Tilly said.
As of Monday, because of dry, windy weather conditions, the Kenai Fire Department has halted all open burning.
Tilly said the city does have a burn permit requirement, and people wishing to burn brush piles can obtain a permit at the fire station.
"When people do burn brush piles, they need to do it safely," he said.
"They should also stay in contact with their fire department. Let us know when they're planning to start the fire and let us know when they put the fire out at night.
"We keep track of how many fires we have burning around the city," he said.
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