HYRUM — A Hyrum man who police say was "engulfed in flames" was hospitalized in extremely critical condition Wednesday with third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.
Ray Jessop, 81, was burning weeds next to his back fence with a propane torch about 11 a.m. when his clothing caught fire, according to the Cache County Sheriff's Office. He was discovered by a teenager who had been helping him.
Jessop was taken to Logan Regional Hospital and then transported by medical helicopter to the burn center at University Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Braxton Wood, who lives by Jessop, had gone to fetch equipment to help his neighbor cut the lawn. When he returned, he found Jessop trembling and smoke coming off his burned body, with the clothes burned away and the hair gone from his head.
"He was just sitting there shaking," Wood said. "I asked if he was OK and he just kind of nodded his head really weakly. He wasn't doing too good."
Wood put out the fire, which had caught a wood fence post, while another neighbor alerted Jessop's wife and called 911.
Braxton Wood's mother, Toni Wood, said Jessop was "meticulous" about caring for his yard, spending a considerable amount of time working around his house and garden.
"He shares the fruits of his labor with his neighbors," Toni Woods said. "He just keeps working on his yard and doing the things he's always done before."
- Lehi airman pulls off 'Operation Surprise'...
- Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit offers chance to...
- 'Pay the price or go dark': Going digital a...
- Family of BYU student hit by car say they are...
- Gov. Herbert threatens veto of House...
- February deemed a snowpack savior for...
- Artifact vandalism near Moab a growing problem
- The story of a fish, a river and what's ahead...
- National, local businesses file briefs... 52
- Advocates rally and 'roar' for... 52
- Family of BYU student hit by car say... 39
- Utah Democrats offer full Medicaid... 32
- Attempt to raise minimum wage in Utah... 30
- Gov. Herbert threatens veto of House... 27
- Chase with alleged shoplifters ends in... 17
- Prison relocation resolution passes House 17