Oak Harbor man burned in bedroom blaze
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
April 21, 2011 · Updated 5:54 PM
An Oak Harbor man was injured early Wednesday morning while attempting to put out a small fire in his bedroom, the Oak Harbor Fire Department reported.
The fire occurred at about 3:45 a.m. Police arrived on scene to find Ronald Lewis, 47, had pulled a burning mattress out the front door of his single family home on the 600 block of SE Ireland Street. The mattress left scorch marks on the front door as well as ignited a bush in the front yard.
The officer reported the fire and then began dousing the flames with a fire extinguisher while firefighters were still en route.
According to fire Chief Mark Soptich, the incident was the result of a burning candle. Lewis had lit it and then fallen sleep. He awoke to find a small fire and was in the process of putting it out himself when police arrived.
"There was very little damage," Soptich said.
Aside from the mattress, scorched door and carpet, only a chair and a vehicle in the driveway were damaged However, Lewis suffered second-degree burns to his left forearm, Soptich said.
First-degree burns are akin to a sunburn, second degree burns are blisters, and third-degree burns, the worst, result in charred flesh.
Soptich said Lewis was treated by paramedics at the scene but that he refused to be transported to Whidbey General Hospital for further treatment. The American Red Cross is providing Lewis with temporary housing.
Along with police, one fire department command vehicle, one engine, one ladder truck, and a Whidbey General Hospital ambulance responded to the emergency.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.