West Virginia man’s beard ignites when he lights pipe

NEW MARTINSVILLE (AP) — A Wetzel County man who uses an oxygen tank to help him breathe suffered severe burns when his beard caught on fire as he tried to light a tobacco pipe.

New Martinsville Fire Chief Larry Couch said Saturday that the 76-year-old man remains in critical condition at the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.

Couch says firefighters responded to a home in New Martinsville on Wednesday. He says the man’s thick hair and heavy beard helped trap oxygen that then ignited when the pipe was lit.

The man was taken to Wetzel County Hospital, then transferred to the hospital in Pittsburgh.

Couch tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the man was hurt in a similar manner less than a year ago. He declined to release the man’s name.

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