Woman suffers severe burns when heater ignites PJs

A family is anxiously awaiting word on the condition of a 43 year-old Hope resident who was severely burned in a freak accident.

  • Jan. 14, 2011 8:00 a.m.

A family is anxiously awaiting word on the condition of a 43 year-old Hope resident who was severely burned in a freak accident at her home in Crystal River Trailer Park, Thursday morning, January 13.

The woman suffered burns to 45 per cent of her body, when her pajamas ignited in flames, after she had either stood near or leaned over a parabolic radiant heater, says Hope Fire Chief Tom DeSorcy, who was first on scene.

Once engulfed in flames the woman had run outside and “hit the snow bank,” added DeSorcy.

Her mother, who lives directly across the narrow park roadway, witnessed her daughter rolling around in the snow in her small front yard in “serious distress.”

“When I got there, there was no fire and the victim was sitting on the porch in a great deal of pain… screaming.”

B.C. Ambulance paramedics arrived and rushed the woman to Fraser Canyon Hospital, from where she was immediately transferred to the Vancouver General Hospital burn unit.

The woman remains in critical condition and was expected to undergo surgery today.

The heater that ignited her clothing was a certified heater with a protective screen but the incident serves as a sad warning that any “glowing element” can pose a danger, adds DeSorcy.

“It is not known as to the exact material this sleepwear was made of, however, it did ignite rather quickly.”

DeSorcy is reminding the public, and in particular parents of small children, to maintain a safe distance with respect to heating sources and be aware of their proximity to all combustible items.

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