Joe P. Asher
A Tuesday morning fire in Verda has left one man in critical condition at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
Raymond Fields, 55, of Verda, was critically injured in the fire that was reported by a passer-by who saw the flames shortly after 6 a.m. The fire destroyed the man’s residence and a vehicle parked by the structure.
Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill said the Lower Clover Fork Fire Department was on the scene when he arrived.
“I got the call this morning that someone was possibly trapped at a structure fire at a resident on Mine Road,” said McGill.
Lower Cloverfork Fire Department Assistant Chief Abe Bennett was among the first on the scene.
“When I got there, there was a structure and vehicle on fire,” said Bennett.
Bennett said he along with Lower Cloverfork Fire Chief Petie Osborne found Fields outside of the structure on the ground.
McGill said Fields sustained severe burns to his arms, face and legs.
According to Osborne, Fields was not conscious when located.
“When I first got him up to the place where I laid him down he was not responding,” said Osborne. “I started to perform CPR. When I pushed on him two or three times on the chest he started coming through. He knew who I was, but he had some pretty bad burns. We took him down to where the second truck was and made him comfortable as possible, got ahold of the state police and told them we needed an ambulance there as soon as possible.”
Bennett said the fire destroyed the one-room structure and a Jeep Wrangler that was parked in front of it.
Osborne said the cause of the fire was electrical.
“He had an orange extension cord running out there and he had two heaters hooked to it and it overloaded,” said Osborne. “He was lucky to get out the door as far as he did.”
According to McGill, Fields was transported to Harlan ARH Hospital by LifeCare Ambulance Service and later transferred to Lexington. Fields was reportedly in critical condition.
The incident is under investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
The home of Mary Hopkins was damaged by the heat from the fire. Passers-by used garden hoses to cool the structure until firefighters arrived.
A nursing supervisor at UK Medical Center said Tuesday night that Fields remains in critical condition and will be admitted to the hospital.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com