CORAOPOLIS (KDKA) – Gas workers who came to the aid of a Coraopolis boy last month in a fire and explosion were given special recognition tonight by Mayor Anthony Celeste, and the Coraopolis Borough Council.

Payton Brown, 12, suffered burns over more than 40 percent of his body on Nov. 26, when he and several other boys started to burn in a fire pit in the backyard of Brown’s Fifth Avenue home.

Brown poured a flammable liquid from a plastic gas container on the flames, which resulted in an explosion and the boy was engulfed in flames.

A Columbia Gas Company subcontracting company, Team Fishel, was doing a pipe upgrading project in the neighborhood at the time and rushed over to Brown and the other boys.

Larry Jones, a Columbia Gas supervisor at the scene, said, “I know there’s 100 people that would have done what I did, and I’m just glad someone was there, and it happened to be me.”

Brandon Szuchy, a member of Team Fishel, told KDKA TV, “Once we heard the screams, everybody just dropped what they were doing and knew nothing was right, and we thank God we were there to help him [Brown].”

A special fund is being established to help pay for Brown’s mounting medical costs.


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