2012-04-26 / Front Page

Putnam Valley man dies from injuries in fire

Was carrying ashes outside
Eric Gross

 An elderly Putnam Valley man was pronounced dead Saturday at Hudson Valley Hospital Center after suffering serious burns outside his Peekskill Hollow Road residence.

State Police identified the victim as Harold Wilson, 84, who a family member said lived alone.

Sgt. William Dexter said that about 1:30 p.m., Wilson carried a bucket of smoldering fireplace ashes out-of-doors: “Minutes later, the victim apparently dumped them onto the ground, which ignited nearby brush and leaves. Mr. Wilson apparently became alarmed by the fire and lost his balance and fell to the ground, where his clothing became quickly engulfed.”

Passersby saw the man on the ground and rushed to assist him. Several 9-1-1 calls sent Putnam Valley Fire Department and ambulance corps personnel to the scene who administered CPR.

Wilson was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

On Sunday, Wilson’s nephew, Fred Blumer, said his uncle was not married nor did he have any children: “He was a retired carpenter and was a great guy. He was a simple man but a man full of life who loved life. This is a terrible tragedy.”

Putnam County Legislator Sam Oliverio was also saddening by the news: “He was one of our local characters but was a standout guy. I remember him sitting in front of his house in a lawn chair watching the traffic travel on by. He was friendly man who always said hello. Harold Wilson was a bastion of Putnam Valley.”


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