A Barlow man was transported to Marietta Memorial Hospital after suffering burns in a fire at a well house on Blue Knob Road Wednesday afternoon.
Dean Decker, 61, was preparing to make repairs on a natural gas well on property belonging to Hilltop Auto Wrecking, 975 Blue Knob Road, when what is believed to be static electricity ignited the gas he was bleeding off the well, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
"The well-tender said he was working on it there. He said he just shut off the gas and something blew," said Warren Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Wile.
Members of the Warren and Oak Grove Volunteer Fire departments work to extinguish the last remains of a fire at a well house at Hilltop Auto Wrecking on Blue Knob Road Wednesday.
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According to the sheriff's office, Decker, who owns the gas well, remained conscious and alert when he was transported to the hospital.
"He probably has third degree burns on both hands," said Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Underwood.
Wile estimated Decker received burns to eight percent of his body. After receiving treatment at Marietta Memorial, Underwood said Decker will likely be transported to a burn center.
Despite his injuries, Decker was able to turn off all gas valves at the scene and was going toward another well on the property to shut it off when stopped by authorities, sheriff's deputies said.
The call on the fire came in at 4:13 p.m., with the Warren Volunteer Fire Department on scene by 4:18 p.m. The Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.
The gas well, which was owned and maintained by Decker, was housed in a tin building approximately 15 feet long. When firefighters arrived, the building was fully engulfed.
It was destroyed by the blaze, which lasted roughly 20 minutes, Wile said.
In most house fires, firefighters use 1.5-inch line to battle the blaze. For the fire at the well house, Warren and Oak Grove elected to use three-inch lines to limit the spread of the flames.
"We doubled the water up on it to get a good knock down," Wile said.
The main concern with the blaze was that it would ignite neighboring vehicles in the auto wrecking yard, Wile explained.
Flames were spreading from the shed at the time firefighters arrived. Three vehicles sustained damage during the fire.
"We didn't want the whole yard on fire," Wile said.
No foul play is suspected in the blaze.