Blind Pa. Man, 68, Dies After Setting Self on Fire

A Pennsylvania man who was blind has died after accidentally setting his clothes on fire. He was trying to warm a towel in a microwave oven.

James Shaffer, 68, told investigators he was warming the towel to put it on his sore leg Tuesday evening in Stonycreek Township. But investigators say using a microwave to warm a dry towel will cause it to burn within 15 seconds and that's what happened to Shaffer.

Because he couldn't see, Shaffer pulled the burning towel onto himself and his clothes caught fire.

Oakland Fire Department deputy chief David Ream says Shaffer was burned over 80 percent of his body. He remained calm and even apologized to emergency responders as he was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Shaffer died early Wednesday from inhaling hot air and fumes from the fire.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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