Posted 11-09-2004 at 13:43:04
[Reply] [No Email]
...just read this a few minutes ago....
"Colfax man burns to death in bizarre mishap at his residence"
By: Ryan Sabalow, Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 12:12 PM PST
A Colfax man burned to death last week after a pair of hot boots he had put in his oven and later placed on his feet caught his clothing on fire, the Placer County Sheriff's Department said Monday.
Lt. George Malim said 43-year-old Grant Wilson's charred body was found by his father Saturday after laying in the yard behind his Placer Hills Road for an unknown number of days.
Malim said the incident was shocking in its severity.
"This is a first for me in 23 years," Malim said. "It's more than a little disturbing. The thought of what must have been running through his mind. It was a horrific death."
Based on the scattered ash and fragments of clothing spread around Wilson's property, Malim said that, as the man burned, he ran around his home in a panic.
At one point, he kicked the smoldering boots off his feet and fell into a pile of bottles. He was severely cut by the glass, Malim said.
Malim said investigators are unsure why Wilson put his boots in the oven and later on his feet, but suspected the man may have been attempting to dry them off.
But Malim said that Wilson did have a history of mental illness.
"It makes you wonder what was going on in his head," Malim said. "Certainly after he caught fire, it was pretty much panic time I think."
Malim said the man's grisly death came as a shock for everyone involved in Saturday's investigation.
"It's one of those times where you go, 'Wow, what a horrible way to go,'" Malim said. "There was no one around to help him."
Wilson's home is in an isolated area outside of the Colfax city limits. His neighbor, Alan Williams, said the man kept mostly to himself.
He said that he and his wife, Angi, only saw Wilson occasionally when he'd come outside and put up one of the many American flags, "Beware of Dog," or "No Trespassing" signs that adorn the front of his property.
Williams was shocked to learn his recluse neighbor had burned to death in such a horrific manner.
"Neither of us of ever talked to him," Williams said. "We never saw any dogs or anything. None of the neighbors talked about him either. We never heard of any conflicts with him."
Williams said he felt badly for the burned man and for the victim's family.
"Man, what a way to go," he said.