Homeless man suffers serious burns while camping in Cascade Park

Posted April 06, 2012, at 6:11 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A 47-year-old homeless man suffered serious burns to his lower body Friday morning as the result of a flash fire caused by a propane stove he was using inside his tent in Cascade Park.

The man, identified as Rodney Labby by the state fire marshal’s office, suffered burns from his ankles to his groin, Assistant Chief Rick Cheverie of the Bangor Fire Department said. The fire also burned Labby’s hair and beard off, Cheverie said.

Cheverie said Labby was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. He was listed in fair condition Friday evening.

According to Cheverie, city firefighters were called to Cascade Park about 9:40 a.m. for a report of smoke on a hilltop and that a man had been burned in a remote section of the park.

When they arrived, fire crews learned that Labby had been using a propane stove inside a tent that he had purchased days before. The fire destroyed the tent and the man’s belongings.

Cheverie said the fire burned about an eighth of an acre of a pine forest in the park before it was extinguished.

Cheverie said the state fire marshal’s office assisted with the investigation.

He said the fire was deemed accidental and cited improper use of a cooking device as the cause.

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