Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Outdoor blaze injures contractors, firefighter

By Dave Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that sent three people, including an Anderson Township firefighter, to area hospitals Monday afternoon.

        A 36-year-old Hamilton man was in serious condition at University Hospital, suffering from burns. He was airlifted to University after firefighters found him laying in the front yard of the house at 996 Maycliffe Place. A 26-year-old man, also found outside the home, was treated at Mercy Hospital Anderson for burns and released.

        The names of the victims were being withheld.

        Anderson Township firefighter Mike Willenbrink, 37, was treated for heat exhaustion at Mercy Hospital Anderson and released.

        The two burn victims were contractors putting in drain tiles outside the home when the outdoor fire started, fire officials said.

        “It appears they were spraying something,” Anderson Township Fire Chief Mark Ober said. “We don't know how it started.”

        The fire badly scorched the front of the white two-story house and burned into the attic, the chief said.

        No damage estimate was released.

        Firefighters had to take off the roof in the front of the home to check for hot spots, fire officials said.

        Fire crews were called to the home at 2:09 p.m. Maycliffe Lane was blocked to all but residents for most of the afternoon, and emergency vehicles lined the street.


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