A 58-year-old man is in critical condition following a garage fire south of Haysville, a Sedgwick County emergency dispatcher said.
At about 8:06 p.m. Wednesday, Sedgwick County fire crews were called out to a small, white house on the northeast corner of 79th and Broadway. Four onlookers at an adjacent property gathered to gaze at the handful of firetrucks pulled to the side of the four-way stop.
Stewart Segraves, a division chief at Sedgwick County Fire, said that when crews arrived, there were flames coming out of the roughly 24-by-24-foot detached garage.
Crews were “able to quickly knock it down,” he said.
The 58-year-old man burned in the fire was a caretaker for the property, Segraves said. He lived there with a friend.
Fire officials are considering it an “accidental fire,” as the man was attempting to siphon gasoline from a vehicle inside the garage, Sedgwick County Fire lieutenant Greg Harlan said Thursday afternoon. The man was using a vacuum sweeper to siphon the gas, Harlan said, which likely sparked or created static ignition to start the fire.
He had burns on his leg, and Segraves estimated his body was approximately 9 percent burned.
He was transported in critical condition to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis.
The garage was about 50 percent burned, Segraves said. Damage was estimated at roughly $5,000 for the structure and another few thousand for the contents, which included two cars, he said.
The house did not sustain any damage.
Segraves said he did not think the man’s injuries were life-threatening but noted that “burn injuries can cause months and months of rehab.”
Contributing: Shelby Reynolds of The Eagle