September 19, 2008

Man Injured in Garage Fire

WHITTIER - An 18-year-old man suffered first and second-degree burns to his hands, arms and neck last night after gas fumes were ignited by the pilot light of a water heater in a garage, fire officials said.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Patrick Dolan said the man was working on a chain saw in the garage.

"He was cutting trees in the front yard. Something happened to the chain saw. He brought it to the garage. Somehow gas fumes from the chain saw ignited with the pilot light of a water heater. The work bench is next to the water heater," Dolan said.

The fire happened at 7:09 p.m., Wednesday at 13103 Anola Street in the unincorporated county area of Whittier.

Dolan said the fire burned a 1988 Mercedes Benz in the garage and gutted the garage. It also caused smoke and heat damage to the kitchen and a back room. A tall palm tree also caught fire.

He estimated damages to the structure and contents at $30,000.

About 30 firefighters knocked down the blaze in 20 minutes. The man was taken to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital.

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