Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the man was initially rushed to the local hospital by private car, then airlifted to Lincoln.
“Prior to our arrival, we did have an enclosed trailer fully engulfed in flames and a power washer that was on fire next to it,” Schipper says.
Schipper’s initial investigation indicates gas vapors inside the trailer were ignited by hot motor of the power washer.
“it appears that this individual that was injured was pouring gasoline into the power washer while it was running,” Schipper says. “…This subject also had some gasoline spilled on his clothing, which caught him on fire as well, and so that’s what we’re looking at — an accidental fire.”
Another employee at the facility dumped dirt on the fire before firefighters arrived from Le Mars, which is about nine miles away, and Schipper says that helped slow the fire down.
“About a 25-mile-an-hour north wind blowing the fire right towards the hog confinement building and the door was open to the hog confinement when I arrived,” Schipper said, “and so we could have had more of a mess than what we had.”
The name of the man who was burned has not been released.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)