Man critical after fire near Monto
A MONTO man remains on life support in a Brisbane hospital after fire tore through his caravan on Monday morning.
It is believed the man, 76, lay in agony for five hours because the emergency was not discovered until a neighbour stumbled upon the scene at Kariboe Road, Monto, about 4.30pm.
Monto Police Sergeant Col Giles said the man was found outside the van, which was on a property on Rideout Road at Dawes, about 50km north of Monto, by a farmer.
Officer-in-charge of Biloela ambulance Terry Zillmann said the man suffered burns to 60% of his body.
He was treated at the scene by Biloela paramedics before being flown by Capricornia Rescue Helicopter to Thangool airport, where the Royal Flying Doctors flew him to the Royal Brisbane Hospital burns unit.
Sgt Giles said the man had been visited about 11.30am by a friend who dropped off a gas bottle and other items, and it was believed the fire started shortly afterwards.
It is believed the elderly man was using a gas stove cooker when it exploded and started the fire.
Neighbours driving past the scene noticed the van missing from its usual place, and stopped to investigate.
The fire was already out when the man was found, and the caravan was destroyed.
Mr Zillmann said it was also a terrible ordeal for emergency services to deal with.
“Cases of this nature, particularly at this time of year, are not just distressing for the patient, but also for emergency services personnel who attend,” Mr Zillmann said.
Forensic teams from Bundaberg Police are investigating the fire.