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Man seriously burned by torch transported by LifeFlight

Alex Barber | BDN
Alex Barber | BDN
Newport firefighters gather around a LifeFlight helicopter slated to transport a man who was badly burned by a torch in Newport on Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.
By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

NEWPORT, Maine — A Corinna man operating a torch at Newport Metals was transported by LifeFlight helicopter to a Boston hospital Friday afternoon because of third-degree burns.

David Withee, 34, who works at Newport Metals, was rushed by Sebasticook Valley Health ambulance to the helicopter that took off from an airfield in Newport. He suffered third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body, said Newport Police Lt. Randy Wing. Police received the call at 11:34 a.m.

“All I can tell you at this point is that Newport fire and police responded here because they had a man operating a torch and, somehow he ended up catching his clothing on fire,” said Wing.

Newport EMS Director Amanda Chretien said Withee was taken from Newport directly to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Because of standard protocol, Wing said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and the state fire marshal’s office assisted at the scene to investigate.

Newport Metals is a scrap metal recycling facility located along U.S. Route 2 on Elm Street in Newport.

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