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Man burned near Pelion is flown to burn center in Augusta

Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) – A man was burned Wednesday after he used a lighter around oxygen and the flame quickly intensified. According to the county’s 911 tele-communicators, the man’s face was burned in the accident which occurred on Hartley Quarter Road between the Pelion and the Fairview communities. The initial call was received at 11:28 a.m. and rescuers were dispatched moments later.

Firefighters from Pelion and the Fairview fire stations responded as did personnel from Lexington County EMS, including the on-duty supervisor in the area. After their initial evaluation, it was decided that the patient had what was described by a spokesman for the county as, “significant burns.” They were severe enough to warrant a request for a Life Net helicopter to transport the patient straight to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. This is one of the premier hospitals for the treatment of burns on the east coast of the US.

As is standard procedure, another fire station was dispatched to the landing zone which was at the Lexington County Airport at Pelion. Their job is to prepare for the approach of the helicopter. That crew checks the general area for debris that could be sucked into the chopper's intake, marks the area if necessary with cones or lights, and advises the pilot of dangerous things like trees and powerlines that may be around the site where the helicopter will set down for the patient transfer. In the case of this landing, special care was taken since there is currently construction underway at the airport. Law enforcement officers are also usually at the landing zone in case on-lookers decide to get too close.

Oxygen by itself is not flammable. It is an oxidizer that can intensify a flame that already exists. Using oxygen around any open flame, even something as small as a handheld lighter or a cigarette, is never a good idea and can be very dangerous.

The actual condition of the man, or his identity will not be released because of privacy laws.

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