The Union Recorder

Top Stories

March 7, 2013

Police: N.Y. man set himself on fire

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — A Plattsburgh man who had recently been charged with sex abuse apparently lit himself on fire Wednesday night.

Earlier in the evening, at about 8:15 p.m., Plattsburgh City Police officers arrested Daniel W. Burke, 60, of 3 Charles Way as he was driving on Margaret Street. He was taken to the Police Station, charged with driving while intoxicated and released to a sober person who came to pick him up.

On Feb. 13, Burke had been charged with second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly molesting someone under age 14. He was out on bail from those charges.

Just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, a neighbor of Burke's heard glass breaking at the man's duplex mobile home and called police.

Officers arrived and could see Burke inside the house by himself.

City Police Chief Desmond Racicot told the Press-Republican that the four patrol officers — Joel Vassar, Richard Tucker, Charles Wolfe and Adam Wood — surrounded the mobile home and tried to speak with Burke.

Then, he turned off the lights in the mobile home. Suddenly, the bedroom where he was standing was aglow as Burke apparently set himself on fire.

"He was engulfed in flames," the chief said. "They were half-carrying him, half-dragging him out of the trailer, slapping him with their hands and rolling him to try to put out the fire."

He told the officers he was trying to kill himself, said Racicot, who said Burke's burns were causing his skin to peel.

Fire began to roar through the structure.

"Plattsburgh Fire Department personnel responded and fought the blaze," according to a news release from City Police. "A neighboring trailer and also a single-family home were damaged by the extreme heat and flames.

"Neighbors were all evacuated during the firefighting effort."

Burke was taken to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, where he was treated and then transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington with first- and second-degree burns to half of his body.

Vassar and Tucker, whose uniforms were burned as they tried to put out the fire on Burke, were taken to CVPH for evaluation but were released. All four officers returned to work Wednesday night, Racicot said. Technicians were at the mobile home on Thursday doing crime-scene forensics.

"It is being investigated as an arson," Racicot said."It is tough," he said of Burke's mental state. "He admitted trying to kill himself. He obviously had some legal problems."

1
Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday