A hunter recently lost his life in an accidental fire in Pennsylvania. According to CBS21, 76-year-old Raymond Seville Jr. died while deer hunting in Belfast Township on Saturday, November 25, opening day of rifle season, when a fire caught in his treestand.
The incident occurred early in the morning, says Fulton County Coroner Berley Souders. Seville’s wife reportedly had just brought him his lunch and was with him when the accident occurred. The fire ignited when Seville tried to turn on a propane heater. According to Chambersburg Public Opinion, the flames shot out from the bottom of the heater and quickly moved to the floor of the treestand.
Seville tried to escape but had mobility issues. His wife tried to pull him out of the treestand but was unable to do so because of heavy smoke. Souders suspects the hose from the propane tank to the heater had been chewed on by wildlife—and that this had cause the flammable fuel to leak out into the tree stand and perhaps onto Seville’s clothes.
Though Seville’s wife quickly called 9-1-1, Seville was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:30 a.m. Later testing found that Seville had perished from smoke inhalation. It’s a deeply tragic incident and a reminder to sportsmen everywhere to be as safe as possible in the field.
“Ed was an outdoorsman. He loved hunting, [and] he especially enjoyed hunting out west,” reads his obituary. “First and foremost, he loved his family and friends. His big hearty laugh, which could be picked out in a crowd, will be missed.”