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81-year-old man burned over 90% of body in backyard accident

By David Self Newlin | Posted - Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 6:02pm

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HYRUM, Cache County — An 81-year-old man was hospitalized with severe burns Wednesday due to a a backyard accident.

Emergency responders got a call at about 11 a.m. reporting a possible burn victim near 500 East and 100 South.

Upon arrival, they found that Ray Jessop had been burning weeds in the backyard of his home with a handheld propane torch, according to Cache County Sherrif's Lt. Brian Locke.

Neighbor Braxton wood said that he was likely trying to put out the weed fire, which had started to burn some grass and spread past Jessop's property line. Wood said that likely caught his pants on fire.

Wood was helping Jessop do some yard work at the time of the accident. He found the man sitting on a nearby trailer with his clothes largely burned off. He said Jessop was weak and shaking.

"He wasn't doing (very) good," wood said.

Another neighbor then went to get Jessop's wife, who called 911.

Neighbor Toni Wood said that after arriving, paramedics had Jessop off of the property in less than two minutes.

He was transported to Logan Regional Hospital, according to Locke. He is now being taken by medical helicopter to the University of Utah burn center for treatment of third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.

Toni Wood said that Jessop had been living there for decades, and was meticulous about his yard, though he had been losing weight and declining in health over the last few years.

"He's just a tiny little old guy but he just keeps working on his yard and doing the things he's always done before," she said.

She said she's is hopefull for his recovery but that it would be "extremely challenging" given his health.

There was no word on Jessop's condition Wednesday afternoon.


David Self Newlin

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