Janesville50.1°

One hurt in Fulton shop fire

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Gina Duwe
January 18, 2013

— The owner of an auto repair shop was hospitalized in serious condition after suffering burns when a fire started while he worked on a vehicle Thursday afternoon.

Rick E. Thompson, 54, of 8208 N. County H, was in serious condition at University Hospital. Authorities said the fire started as he worked on the fuel system of a vehicle.

Fuel apparently dripped onto a trouble light, which ignited the fuel and started a fire around the vehicle, said Ryan Beckwith, deputy fire chief with the Edgerton Fire Department. Firefighters and Rock County sheriff's deputies responded at about 1:15 p.m. to RT Motors at 8201 N. County H. They found a barn engulfed in flames, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Thompson was able to escape but suffered burns to his legs and arms, according to the release. A helicopter responded, but it was determined ambulance transportation was better, Beckwith said.

The fire was extinguished within an hour, and firefighters remained on scene for three hours, he said. A backhoe was used to knock down the rest of the barn, he said.

The barn and its contents, which included at least four cars, were a total loss, he said. The fire also caused minor damage to vehicles parked outside. A damage estimate was expected to be available today.

County H between County M and Gibbs Lake Road was closed for several hours while crews worked. Janesville paramedics and Evansville, Milton and Cambridge fire departments also assisted.



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