LINCOLN — A 39-year old Lincoln woman, who suffered severe burns over more than half of her body when her vehicle burned Monday, was flown to a Boston hospital, according to local officials.
Although the cause of the fire is still being investigated, Fire Marshal Jim Ellis said it appeared to be a flash fire. Ellis, who impounded the late model Jeep Wagoneer for close examination, said preliminary investigation indicated there was no explosion.
The paint on most of the exterior of the vehicle was discolored. Inside the vehicle, what was once seats had become charred metal springs. The intense heat melted the windows.
When Police Officer Larry Hesseltine responded to a 3:35 p.m. report of a car fire at Janis Dyer’s trailer, located in Dube’s Trailer Park off Route 2, he did not immediately see anyone.
“I saw someone in the smoke. I assumed the person was trying to put out the fire. I heard moaning like someone was in pain. I thought the person was overcome with smoke,” Hesseltine said.
As the officer neared the front of the vehicle, he said he saw a woman. “When I got to her, from the knees up she was red and blistering. Her skin was peeling off. Her clothes were burned off her,” he said.
Hesseltine said he ran back to the cruiser to call for an ambulance. Deputy Fire Chief Hervey Clay arrived on the scene and the two men took the woman into her trailer to put her in a tub of water. They discovered the tub was full of water and she had already been in it.
The officer said Janis Dyer told officials she got into her vehicle, lit a cigarette and the vehicle just blew up.
Hesseltine said Dyer, who was in shock, was transported to Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln, where she was stabilized and later transfered to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Clay said the vehicle was parked in the driveway. He said it was likely Dyer would be flown to a Boston hospital because she had received severe burns to more than 50 percent of her body.