February 17. 2013 12:51PM

Webster man killed, girl, 17, burned after gas poured on brush fire

By Damien Fisher
New Hampshire Union Leader

WEBSTER — A 20-year-old man is dead and a 17-year-old girl injured after the man reportedly poured gas on a brush fire Saturday night.

"A lot of people don't realize the explosive nature of gasoline," said State Fire Marshal District Chief Max Schultz.

Schultz said Daniel Hewey and the girl were burning brush outdoors in a home-made fit pit, made from a cut open oil tank around 10:20 p.m. when the fire went out. Hewey tried to get the fire started back up by pouring gasoline into the pit from an open bucket, Schultz said. The gasoline vapors are highly volatile and should never be used on a fire, Schultz said.

"It basically exploded," he said.

Both Hewey and the girl caught fire and first responders were called for the emergency.

Hewey was rushed to Concord Hospital where he later died of his injuries. The girl was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for treatment. Her injuries are mostly to her face, Schultz said.

"She's going to be OK," he said.

Schultz said many people try to re-light fires with gasoline, and run the risk of injury of death due to the volatile nature of the gas.

"People need to know not to use it," he said.

Flammable liquids, such as lighter fluid, can be use to start the fire, but should never be used to relight a fire that has gone out, as the embers and ash can still run hot enough to cause an explosion when mixed with a flammable liquid.