The Washington Post

Man who accidentally lit clothes on fire dies

A man who inadvertently lit his clothes on fire Friday while working near a torpedo-style space heater has died, authorities said.

George L. White, 77, was working on an automobile in the 5900 block of Rayburn Drive in Temple Hills when he accidentally came into contact with the kerosene-fueled, torpedo-style space heater — a powerful device generally reserved for large spaces, Prince George’s County fire officials said. The heater ignited White’s clothing, and he was critically burned, the officials said.

Fire officials said a family member helped extinguish the flames and he, too, was burned, though less seriously than White. Both were taken to a hospital, authorities said.

The incident occurred about 2:30 p.m. Friday, and White died the next day, authorities said. The other man who was burned is expected to survive, authorities said.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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