Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – A local man suffered serious burn injuries Thursday in an apartment fire about 1 p.m. at Apple Ridge Apartments on Lancaster Pike.
Frank Brookbank, 67, suffered smoke inhalation and burns that covered a large portion of his body, according to Chief Marc Zingarelli, Circleville Fire Department.
Brookbank was transported to Berger Hospital by Pickaway Township EMS, then transferred to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment. His condition is currently unknown.
According to the Circleville Fire Department, Brookbank was pulled from his burning apartment by a commercial painter on the property who saw the smoke and went to investigate. The fire was extinguished by Circleville crews while Brookbank was treated by medics from Pickaway Township.
Zingarelli said medics tried to have Brookbank airlifted directly to a Columbus hospital for treatment, but the helicopters could not fly in Thursday’s high winds.
Tyrone Brown, a neighbor, said he arrived home just after Brookbank was pulled to safety.
“He’s a good man, a veteran,” Brown said. “He would give you his last. He’s just a really great dude.”
Brown said Brookbank was disabled, used a wheelchair and suffered a variety of ailments, one of which required oxygen treatments.
Zingarelli said he could not yet confirm the cause of the fire, but oxygen did contribute to the spread of the flames. He said investigators determined the fire began on the couch in the apartment’s living room.
Brookbank lived alone in apartment 66 with his two cats, one of which died in the blaze. The other has not yet been found.
The Circleville Police Department also assisted at the scene.
The incident remains under investigation.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal