Missouri Firefighter Suffers Face, Neck Burns in Grill Fire

Aug. 23--ST. LOUIS -- A St. Louis City firefighter suffered burns to the face and neck after responding to a propane barbecue grill fire Friday evening.

The incident happened at about 5:45 p.m. in the 2900 block of Missouri Avenue. According to Captain Gregg Favre, firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a house and when they arrived, they learned a man had been grilling on his porch and noticed the flames were too big on his grill. Before firefighters arrived, the man pulled the grill into his yard.

When the firefighter reached down below the grill near the propane tank, something malfunctioned in the connector hose and the tank began spitting fire. "Basically this blowtorch hit him in the face and chest," said Favre. "He was only in the fire for a matter of a second and a half, but he did have some pretty significant burns to the face and neck area."

The firefighter, a probationary firefighter in his first year of work with the department, was conscious and talking to firefighters as they treated him at the scene. He was taken to a local burn unit where he was being treated. The burns were considered non-life-threatening and Favre hoped the firefighter would be back to work soon.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire away to the house and let it burn until the tank ran out of fuel. There was no damage to the house, Favre said.

?Valerie Schremp Hahn covers nightside public safety for the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter at @valeriehahn.

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