UPDATE: Burning man found in park has died

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-17 09:02:29-05

UPDATE: The man found burning in Fort Clifton Park has died, according to Colonial Heights fire investigators. Foul play is not suspected in this case.

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WTVR) - Police, fire and EMS responded to Fort Clifton Park after a man walking in the park on Conduit Rd. discovered a badly burned man about 11 a.m.

The park is nestled along the Appomattox River behind Tussing Elementary School and between two subdivisions.

"It was a resident who was walking from the neighborhood over here to get his daily walk,” Colonial Heights Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Boisseau said. "The initial call was for a brush fire, but the caller said he heard somebody screaming."

Boisseau, who was one of the first to arrive on the scene, said the caller met him. He said that the “extremely burned" victim walked up to the pair.

Helicopter lands at Fort Clifton Park (PHOTO: Wayne Covil)

Helicopter lands at Fort Clifton Park (PHOTO: Wayne Covil)

Emergency workers told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil that the man suffered burns to more than 90 percent of his body.

Med-Flight landed at the park to fly the man to hospital.

"Part of our response was to call in the helicopter, and at that point, we asked the school not to let anybody come out the back of the school while the helicopter was landing or taking off," Boisseau said.

However, due to his injuries, the decision was made to take him to VCU Medical Center in an ambulance. At last check, the victim was in critical condition with burns over 90 percent of his body at VCU Medical Center.

Fire investigators said they were able to make contact with the family of the victim.

Police, who have not yet said how the man was burned, said there is no indication the burned man has any connection to the school.

Fire investigators collected evidence and are trying to determine exactly what happened in the woods.

Some who frequent the area said what happened will not deter them from coming back.

Gloria Hazelton, who walks at the park daily, said the park has a lovely view of the Appomattox River.

"It's a beautiful place to come with animals and picnics. Civil War things happened here. It's sacred ground, I consider," Hazelton said.