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Corning man injured in fire
A 79-year-old Corning man is recovering at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento after he was severely burned in a motor home fire on Friday.
Raymond Watson is expected to be in the hospital for another week and then will move in with his son in Sacramento.
He will continue getting treatment at the burn unit for the next six months.
Corning firefighters responded to the blaze at the Lazy Corral Trailer and RV Park on Fig Lane at 6:45 p.m. when they found the owner of the motor home, Raymond Watson, outside the residence with burns to his head, face and hands.
The motor home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.
Live ammunition, including shotgun shells, .22- and .38-caliber rounds inside the residence, added an additional danger to the scene, according to firefighters.
The trailer park was evacuated, and the gas was temporarily turned off.
Tom Bartlett, a relative of Watson and his neighbor, said the cause of the fire was a propane leak.
"We had just filled the propane tank on the motor home and hooked it back up," Bartlett said. "My son told Raymond (Watson) he could smell gas in the motor home, but Raymond, being the hard-headed Norwegian that he is, just ignored it."
Bartlett said Watson was cooking on Friday when there was an explosion in the motor home.
"It seems there was a bad fitting from the propane tank and it exploded. The tank was attached to the motor home underneath towards the front," he said.
Corning Fire Chief Martin Spannaus said the official cause is a propane leak.
Another of Watson's neighbors ran to the motor home and pulled Watson out of the burning residence.
"Raymond was trying to get stuff out and fought Robert, so he had to pull him out," Bartlett said.
After being treated by paramedics and firefighters on scene, Watson was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff and then flown by medical helicopter to Sacramento.
"He moved here from Smith River just two weeks ago. His eyesight isn't so good anymore and he needed help getting around, so he moved close to us so we could help him out," Bartlett said.
"He doesn't have insurance on the motor home and he lost everything except his car."