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Beckley Car Fire Leaves Male Critically Burned

As published in the Register Herald by Jessica Farrish on 5th January 2017: On Monday, 2nd January, according to Lt. Ernie Parsons of the Beckley Fire Department, a man was reported seriously injured in a fire that engulfed a car at the intersection of Central Avenue and Virginia Street. The victim of the accident was an adult male, the driver the car. The fire department has not yet released the identity of this man who is currently admitted to a hospital in Huntington.

The news was reported on Thursday morning at which time the said victim was on life support because of the severe burns he had sustained on his body. Lt. Ernie Parsons commented on the situation by saying, “It was a pretty traumatic experience…. We don’t see that very often.” The people of Beckley really don’t witness events like this often. The Lt. went on to describe why the event was an unusual one by saying, “Usually, when there’s a car fire, its unoccupied; it was pretty unusual to roll up and have a car fire and there also be a burn victim.”

By the time emergency crews made their way to the car fire, it was engulfed heavily in flames. Fortunately, the person who reported the incident, and probably the first one on the scene, had pulled the victim out of the burning car, while a woman who was a resident living on the same street brought blankets to cover him. The identity of these two people had also not been disclosed by the fire department.

When the firefighters arrived, patient care was given to the burn victim while the car fire was extinguished. The male patient was transported in a Jan Care ambulance. An ambulance had to be dispatched by the fire department for the man who had helped the victim as he himself was suffering from shortness of breath.

According to the Fire Department and Parson’s statement, the car caught fire between the hours of 6 pm and 7 pm on Monday evening. Fortunately, the location was very close to Beckley Fire Station No. 1 which is on Third Avenue (the fire was on Central Avenue). All firefighters received a dispatch call from the Raleigh County Emergency Operations Central and were at the scene in no time. 

After the firefighters put out the car fire, special precautions were taken to make sure that the fire would not reignite.

The fire department has yet to release withheld information. J.L. McNeeley, a Beckley Police Patrolman, is currently investigating the incident.

The fire department attendant Lt. Parsons had some appreciative words for the people who helped the victim,  “Those folks that risked their own safety to help this guy, they deserve lots of acknowledgment for coming to this guy’s aid…..Good citizens are out there, willing to help out — not just watch.”

More information about the victim and his identity was anticipated to be released on Friday; however, the investigating officer was not available to release those details. 

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