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Missoula man burned in bonfire explosion; police begin investigation

June 17, 2014 12:59 pm  • 

MISSOULA — Missoula police are investigating an incident that left a 19-year-old man severely burned at a residence on the 600 block of South Fifth Street East Sunday evening.

Police spokesman Travis Welsh said the victim was standing near a bonfire when another individual threw an accelerant on the fire. The explosion left the victim with severe burns on his chest, face, head and hands. He was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment, Welsh said Tuesday.

Welsh said the city police weren’t initially called to the scene to investigate Sunday, but University of Montana police asked the city police to take over the investigation Monday afternoon.

“There’s an allegation it could be negligence or criminal endangerment,” he said.