Man severely burns one-third of his body while working on car in East Central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno firefighters say a welding mishap has left a Fresno man with significant burns over his arms and legs.

When crews arrived to the East Central Fresno home they said the man wanted to go back into the danger zone to save some of his possessions, but they had to stop him.

"What he's stating is a fuel can fell exploding basically," said Battalion Chief Tony Escobedo. "Spilling the fuel out and with the welding material arced and caused an explosion."

Crews were concerned because the fire threatened not only the home where it started but also a next door neighbor's. Firefighters say the victim, identified as Keith Mills, suffered second and third-degree burns over 33 percent his body. Most of the injuries were to his arms and legs, but his mustache and eyebrows were also singed.

When crews arrived they said the man wanted to go back into the danger zone to save some of his possessions, but they had to stop him.

Firefighters who responded to the scene had another challenge when they heard several large bangs. Scanner traffic shows the warning crews got about another danger at the fire: "Engine 5 command. You are going to need fire attack. It's gonna be between these two buildings ok? Compressed cylinders going off."

"Some of the difficulties of this fire this morning is that he had a lot of compressed cylinders that heated up so much a few exploded," Escobedo said.

Investigators say flames shot in the air and they had to monitor them until the fuel burned out. It took about ten minutes. By then the victim's injuries were stable, and he was wheeled away to an ambulance.

His condition is currently unknown but firefighters say he was lucky to have survived.
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