Mechanic shop fire critically injures man in Westphal

A fire at an auto repair shop in Westphal has sent one man to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Second man suffered burns to his hands

One man was critically inured when the vehicle he was working on at a mechanic shop burst into flames. (John Versteege )

A man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after a vehicle he was dismantling caught fire at a business in Westphal on Friday afternoon.

Shortly after 12 p.m., RCMP were called to a vehicle on fire at a garage in the 800-block of Highway 7 in Westphal.

“The Investigation has revealed that a man was working on a vehicle when it caught fire and resulted in very serious injury to the man,” said Cpl. Scott MacRae.

He was out taking a gas tank out with a torch.- Witness

Paramedics rushed the man to hospital, he said.

"I could see flames starting, shooting up and immediately was quite concerned by the fact there were so many boats and cars." said John Versteege, who was driving by the scene.

He said the fire was a near disaster.

"There were explosions, I think. If I recall, two or three of them and I kind of jumped. It sounded like shotgun blasts."

Another witness at the scene told CBC News the victim was removing a gas tank from a vehicle using a torch.

"I didn't even know what he was doing. I was inside on the internet and all I see is a car on fire and he was right next to the car," said the witness.

"I ran out, I picked him up out of there, laid him on the ground over there, ripped his clothes off of him and it was a mess anyway."

The witness suffered burns to his hands.

Chuck Bezanson, a division commander at Halifax Regional Fire, said crews did a "fantastic" job dealing with the incident.

"They had two hose lines on the fire immediately. They protected the rest of the building because vehicle fires are extremely hot and they did put the fire out rather quickly and they treated the patient quickly and turned their care over to EHS," he said.

RCMP and the Department of Labour are investigating.