May 13, 2010 in City

Trailer fire inflicts severe burns on Spokane man

Man taken to hospital in Seattle for treatment
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A Spokane man suffered severe burns over about 40 percent of his body Wednesday from a fire that erupted inside a small travel trailer that had been parked just north of Sprague Avenue on Smith Street.

Phil Gordon, 59, suffered severe burns on his hands, wrists, face, head and back. He was quickly transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Moline said.

He then was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, which is the region’s primary burn unit, a hospital spokesman said.

“He was conscious when we found him, but the burns are significant,” Moline said. “We are pulling for him. We are hoping for the best.”

The call came in at 7:29 p.m., Moline said.

“Two adult females who live on East Riverside first saw him after hearing a loud explosion,” Moline said. “Another witness to the south also said he heard a loud explosion. The two females said they assisted in getting him (Gordon) out of there.”

A woman who identified herself as Gordon’s sister said Gordon had been living in the travel trailer for four years. The trailer was a total loss and fire crews reported finding several 16-ounce cylinders of propane inside the trailer.

Moline said the special investigation unit had arrived on the scene and was trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which took crews only a few minutes to extinguish.

“Whenever you have propane, especially in that volume, you want to make sure those are not leaking,” Moline said. “I’m not saying that’s the cause. But that’s certainly a possibility.”


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