PLAISTOW - An Old County Road man suffered burns to his face and hands when a kerosene water heater exploded yesterday afternoon, said fire Chief John McArdle.
The man, who police identified as Victor McKinney, was lighting the heater in the basement of his home at 28 Old County Road when gas in the area "flashed on him," McArdle said.
The victim was conscious and yelled to his wife to call 911, McArdle said. Emergency crews transported him to Lawrence General Hospital, and he was flown from there by MedFlight helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he was in fair condition last night.
Fire crews extinguished small fires sparked by the explosion, but the house did not catch fire, McArdle said.