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Ga. man suffers burns to 75% of body using lighter on bag of chips

A 75-year-old Dalton man suffered third-degree burns while using a lighter to open a bag of potato chips


City of Dalton Fire Department/Facebook

By Olivia Lloyd
The Charlotte Observer

DALTON, Ga. — A 75-year-old man accidentally set himself on fire when he tried using a lighter to open a bag of chips, a Georgia official said.

The fire broke out at about 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 3 in Dalton, a spokesperson for the city said in a news release.

When firefighters arrived at the apartment complex three minutes later, they found the man and the recliner he was sitting in had been burned in a blaze.

Maintenance workers helped limit the fire with a hose until firefighters arrived, officials said.

In their investigation, firefighters said they learned the man had used the lighter when he couldn’t open the bag of chips with his hands.

He sustained third-degree burns on roughly 75% of his body, city officials said.

He was rushed to a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then transferred to a burn center. Dalton officials said they didn’t know which burn center he was moved to or what his condition was as of Jan. 4.

Some chips are flammable because they are primarily made of carbohydrates and oil, CNET reported in 2022. They’re high in calories and fat, which makes them conducive to starting fires, according to a study conducted at the University of Greenwich.

Dalton is in northwest Georgia, about 90 miles northwest of Atlanta.

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