LIZANA, MS (WLOX) - A Harrison County man is in the hospital with serious injuries after he accidentally poured gasoline on an outdoor fire Saturday afternoon.
According to Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan, the victim and his family were having an outdoors event in the Lizana community and decided to build a fire. Witnesses told officials the victim was putting more logs on the fire and trying to get it to burn better. The man grabbed a can of what he thought was diesel fuel to pour on the fire, said Sullivan.
"There was already a fire burning in there apparently and it flashed back on him and burned him," said Sullivan.
Family members immediately went into action, putting out the flames on the victim. Emergency officials arrived on the scene soon after and the man was flown in a medical helicopter to the Burn Center at USA Medical in Mobile.
Sullivan says the man's injuries are severe but details are limited due to medical privacy laws.
Officials advise never pouring anything on a fire once it's began burning, especially anything as flammable as gasoline.
"From a safety standpoint, never pour anything flammable on a fire when it's burning because you can get a flashback and that's what happened in this situation," he said. "They didn't know it was gasoline in that can. They thought it was diesel and diesel has a lower flash point. But we don't recommend pouring anything on a fire once it's started other than water to put it out."
Sullivan says it's not even a good idea to have anything nearby that is flammable.
"We would never recommend even having gasoline anywhere near the fire. Using the standard precautions, we advise to start the fire small and build it up from there."
The fire chief also says never to leave a fire unattended.
"We see it time after time. We gets woods fires and even structure fires where people start a fire and then walk away from it and it spreads."