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Flash fire at compressor injures man on Christmas

Dec 26, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A Riverton man was injured Wednesday in a flash fire explosion at a compressor station south of town.

David Crichton, 36, was flown to the University of Utah Burn Center after the incident, which was reported at about 10 a.m. Christmas Day.

His mother said the injuries were not life threatening, and Crichton was doing well Thursday.

In initial reports he appeared completely awake and could be heard talking. The reporting party said Crichton suffered "severe" burns to his face and hands.

Local fire officials said Crichton already had been transported from the scene when they arrived.

"I never saw that individual," Fremont County Fire Protection District deputy chief Dan Oakley said. "He was probably to the hospital before I even got the call."

Company employees had shut the lines going to the compressor station by the time Oakley's crew of two engine companies and six firefighters arrived.

"We shut off a couple more lines close to the building to take the pressurized gas out of the lines," Oakley said. "We sprayed a little water to cool down the building and stuff in the building -- there were a couple of hot spots and papers on fire."

He said the fire itself was relatively minor, and crews were at the scene for about an hour.

"I may have put 500 gallons on this building," Oakley said. "We really didn't do much of anything."

Oakley guessed that Crichton had been at the station by himself when the explosion occurred.

"It's probably one of many (compressor buildings) he was responsible for checking," Oakley said.

He said the site belongs to a company called "Legacy," though he wasn't sure whether the business was Legacy Reserves or Legacy Resources.

"There are multiple (Legacys) out there," Oakley said.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

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