A Warner NH man died Saturday night and a 17-year-old female was hospitalized from a brush fire accident at 137 Dear Meadow Rd. in Webster. Officials say that 20-year-old Daniel Hewey used gasoline in an attempt to ignite a brush fire in a fire pit, which caused a small explosion and flash fire.
The NH Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Hewey’s death accidental due to inhalation injuries and burns. The 17-year old female is being treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and expected to make a full recovery.
New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan Degnan stated that tragic accidents like this can be prevented. He urges the public to never use gasoline or flammable liquids to light any fire, since the vapors are explosive and extremely flammable and will pool at ground level particularly in colder weather. Used caution when lighting any outdoor fires and no liquids should be added to a fire that is already lit due to the possibility of a flash fire. Fire starting gels have also been linked to flash fires and serious burn injuries. Use only approved flammable liquid containers to store flammable liquids and never kept near a fire.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
Keep away from flammable material and fluids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or vehicles while in use.
Do not use flammable fluids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel fuel, kerosene, and charcoal lighter fluid or fire starting gels to light or relight fires.
Exercise the same precautions you would with any open fire
Do not allow children to use the fire pit. Keep children and pets away.
Do not wear flammable or loose fitting clothing such as nylon.Do not burn trash, leaves, paper, cardboard, or plywood. Avoid using soft wood such as pine or cedar that likely pop and throw sparks. Use of seasoned hardwood is suggested.
Before starting the fire, make sure that the lid will still close to extinguish the fire in case of emergency. Do not overload.
Before you light the fire, check the wind direction.
Keep a fire extinguisher or garden hose nearby.