Canadian man dies while burning brush

A 73-year-old man in New Brunswick, Canada, died while attempting to burn some brush on his property. Here is a report from the Telegraph-Journal:

POCOLOGAN – Burning brush around his property ended tragically for a Pocologan resident Wednesday morning.

“We’ve lost houses and barns and things but this is the first fatality in a grass fire,” Blacks Harbour Fire Department Deputy Chief Larry Justason said in an interview.

The 73-year-old man got caught in branches in an area where the flames spread, the RCMP reported.

“The man’s wife tried to free him but could not. The man died in the fire before help arrived. The woman was not injured, although some of her clothing burned,” the RCMP news release stated.

The volunteer fire department responded to the emergency call at about 10:10 a.m., Justason said.

He could not say exactly how it happened. Like District 1 RCMP Sgt. Greg MacAvoy in St. George, he awaits the outcome of the autopsy in Saint John today.

“He was in the process of burning grass,” Justason said. “I’m not 100 per cent sure. When we got there he was already lying on the ground.”

“It is terrible, really, for a foolish sort of fire,” said Justason, who has helped put out many grass fires.

“Just a tragic accident, no other way to put it,” MacAvoy said. “For want of a better term, just a freak accident.”

As both the firefighter and RCMP officer noted, the man’s wife saw it happen. The RCMP did not release the name of the victim Wednesday pending notification of next of kin. Justason did not know the name.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.