And they wasted a good beer, putting out the fire!
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A man who calls himself a professional
fire-breather was hospitalized after his face caught fire during a
demonstration, police said.
Walter McKinney, 43, suffered burns to his face and throat after
he tried to demonstrate his technique to three people at his home
at about 9 p.m. Monday, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police
and witness reports.
Witnesses recalled McKinney saying the mishap was not his first
and probably would not be his last.
McKinney was in serious condition Wednesday at the burn center
at UNC Hospitals, administrative house supervisor Lula Daniel said.
McKinney said he had entertained at birthday parties and the
like for decades, according to neighbor Angel Satterfield, 23.
He showed Satterfield, Steven Poston, 24, and another neighbor
pictures that night of himself blowing fire while they hung out on
the porch of his mobile home, they said Tuesday evening.
Then, said witnesses and police, he poured lighter fluid into
his mouth, set fire to a stick and attempted to demonstrate his
Police said McKinney had been drinking.
One man, who declined to give his name, said he helped put out
the fire with a can of beer, the only thing close at hand.
McKinney could be charged with violating a city ordinance
against carelessness with fire or felony malicious use of
incendiary device or material, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg police
detective Keith Caviness, who investigated the incident. A decision
could come after McKinney is released from the hospital.
"You can't just walk around the city playing with fire,"
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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08-13-2003, 07:47 AM #1
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