Hudson man who set himself on fire in family garage is badly burned

  • Updated: April 11, 2008 - 12:19 AM

A 19-year-old Hudson, Wis., man apparently set himself on fire in his family garage early Wednesday and his father was burned trying to put out the flames, which spread to the garage.

Michael Helm, 43, told Hudson police that his son, Brandon Helm, set himself on fire. The elder Helm was burned trying to extinguish the flames at 38 Brighton Path, said Police Chief Marty Jensen. Police were called at 1:22 a.m. and evacuated nearby homes as a precaution. Police found Brandon Helm at a neighbor's home.

Jensen said he heard reports that the teenager had burns over 80 percent of his body. He said the Helms were being treated for fire injuries at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon that the father was in serious condition. She did not immediately know Brandon's condition.

Investigators want to talk to the teen to see whether the fire was set or accidental, Jensen said. He said he didn't know whether an accelerant was used. The home, which is attached to the garage, sustained mostly smoke and water damage.

JIM ADAMS

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