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Man uses gasoline to start fire, burns himself

GRAYSON - A man attempting to burn yard waste was severely burned Wednesday when a flash fire sparked, throwing flames onto his body.

Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge said the man in his early 20s was using gasoline and a lighter to start the fire.

Rutledge said the man was attempting to burn limbs and tree stumps at 2:42 p.m. behind a home at 2542 Camp Mitchell Road in Grayson.

Firefighters found the burned man conscious and alert in the backyard. He was transported by ambulance to a landing zone at nearby Bay Creek Park where he was then airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Rutledge said he could not release the man's name or discuss the extent of his burns and injuries due to state privacy laws.

Rutledge was unsure if the man was the only one at the scene at the time of the incident but said the 911 call was made from the incident location.

Rutledge suggests anyone thinking about outside burning should visit the Gwinnett County Fire Marshal's Web site at www.gwinnettfiremarshal.com before burning. He said accelerants such as gasoline are not suggested for starting fires.

"I would say that it's never a good idea to use gasoline or any type of accelerant to start a fire because a flash fire can occur," Rutledge said.