Man dead after Linden fire

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 6, 2003

An employee of Linden Lumber Company died from injuries received during a fire December 26 in the fuel house.

According to information told to Linden Police Officer Scott McClure on the scene, the fire began Thursday morning at approximately 11 a.m. in the fuel house full of sawdust at the plant. Two employees were in a man lift, and a torch ignited sawdust.

One man jumped out of the man lift, McClure said. The other employee, identified as Robert Calhoun, couldn’t get out of the lift, and caught fire.

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The employee who jumped from the lift received burns to his face; Calhoun received serious burns to his waist.

The two men were taken by ambulance to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, and Calhoun was later air lifted to a burn center at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

One employee suffered minor injuries, said Kevin McKenzie of Linden Lumber Company. “He’s doing just fine,” he said. The other employee “had severe burns, and he passed away overnight last night…in the burn unit in Mobile at the University of South Alabama Hospital.” McKenzie could not identify the employees citing notification of family.

The Linden Volunteer Fire Department as well as the Marengo County Rescue Squad responded to the December 26 fire call, McClure said.

The small fire in the fuel house was contained, McKenzie. “There was really no damage to speak of in the fuel house.”

Jeff Laduron, Linden public safety director, received a call Tuesday morning that Calhoun had passed away.

An autopsy will be performed by the medical examiner in Mobile, Laduron said. A heart attack is suspected as the cause of death.