A state representative from Winthrop was seriously burned Tuesday morning while attempting to start a brush pile fire on his property, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, was using gasoline to start the fire when vapors caught his clothing on fire, investigators said.

Hickman was burned on his legs and chest and was first taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by ambulance, and later flown by the Lifeflight helicopter to Maine Medical in Portland.

The fire took place about 9:30 a.m. behind Hickman’s home on Annabessacook Road. After being injured, a friend of Hickman attempted to drive him to the Augusta hospital but they stopped at the new Winthrop Fire Station and called for help. Winthrop Police and Winthrop EMS responded, as the fire station is not manned full time.

Fire investigators, aided by Maine Forest Rangers, say Hickman poured a small amount of gasoline on the brush pile and then lit a cardboard egg carton and placed it on the pile. That is when the vapors from the gasoline exploded.

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