10/17/2013

Drunk Florida man sets self on fire while lighting Halloween cross-burning ‘prank’

A Florida man is recovering from burns on up to 50 percent of his body after he reportedly set himself on fire while trying light a cross-burning decoration for Halloween.
According to Florida Today, Palm Bay police identified 50-year-old Ron Nielson as the man being treated for burns by Palm Bay Fire-Rescue crews on Tuesday evening.
“He was conscious and alert but he had second-degree burns over 40 to 50 percent of his body, including his chest, arms, upper torso,” Palm Bay Police Department spokesperson Yvonne Martinez said.
Palm Bay police described the incident as a “prank” that included using candles and gasoline to light a wooden cross along the side of his home.
“It started as some kind of prank apparently and involved a wooden cross,” Martinez explained. “We don’t know if he was trying to light the cross or the candles but when he did, his clothes caught fire.”
WFTV reported that Nielson had been drinking when the fire occurred. His wife tried to douse the flame with a garden hose.
Nielson was recovering on Wednesday at Orlando Regional Medical Center and Palm Bay police were continuing their investigation.
Watch this video from WFTV, broadcast Oct. 16, 2013.