February 11, 2014

Man burned when shirt catches fire

Man in hospital after heater ignites clothing

February 11, 2014 By Elizabeth Ridenour Phoenix Staff Writer

A Muskogee man is hospitalized in Tulsa with third-degree burns to his back after his shirt caught fire by a heater in his home.

Cheki Hill, 26, was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon at Hillcrest Burn Center in Tulsa, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Hill was burned at approximately 2:40 p.m. Monday at his home in the 2600 block of Denver Street, according to 911 call logs.

Hill called his grandmother, who called for help.

“He called, screaming and hollering that he was on fire,” said his grandmother, Betty Baucom McConnell.

McConnell, who was at Walmart, said she called 911 and raced to the house as fast as she could. When she arrived, police, deputies, firefighters and ambulance personnel were there.

“They all got there fast,” McConnell said. “They took him from the front yard straight to Hillcrest. His shirt is still in the front yard.”

Hill had backed up to an open-flame heater to get warm when his shirt caught fire, McConnell said.

Hill, who was burned on 18 percent of his body, underwent surgery Tuesday.

“He’s getting skin grafts on his back,” McConnell said.

McConnell wants others to use caution.

“People need to be careful with those open flame heaters,” she said.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.

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