Man escapes from burning home; airlifted to burn center

Man escapes from burning home; airlifted to burn center

PARADISE, Calif. - An elderly Paradise man was flown to the UC Davis Burn Center after escaping his burning home early Monday morning.

John Klempa,reported to be 83 years old, is in serious condition.

CAL FIRE said that Klempa escaped with this life from his home engulfed in flames on the 6000 block of Woodland Drive in around 12:45 a.m.

Neighbors said that Klempa was able to get out on his own and they escorted him to the ambulance and taken to Feather River Hospital.

He was then airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center.

Firefighters worked quickly to stop the fire from spreading to the nearby vegetation.

"That was one of our concerns is that it had started spreading to the vegetation," said CAL FIRE Battalion Chief, Curtis Lawrie. "It headed toward several of the trees behind the structure and had started down into the ground fuels. That was one of the first priorities for us was to contain the vegetation fire and then deal with the structure."

A total of 22 firefighters worked to put out the blaze. The estimated damage cost is $600,000.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters said the heaviest amount of burring came from the living room.

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