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Stow Man Catches Fire After Applying Sunscreen

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill Kate Merrill
Kate Merrill is an Emmy award winning journalist for WBZ-TV News. She...
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Update: 6/2/2012: Banana Boat Issues Statement Promising Investigation

STOW (CBS) – A Stow man says he was nearly killed after applying sunscreen.  Standing in front of his barbecue grill, Brett Sigworth says it was only a second before his body was engulfed in flames.

“I went into complete panic mode and screamed,” he says. “I’ve never experienced pain like that in my life.”

He was at his lakefront home entertaining friends when he applied Banana Boat sport aerosol sunscreen.

He says, “I sprayed on the spray-on sunscreen, and then rubbed it on for a few seconds. I walked over to my grill, took one of the holders to move some of the charcoal briquettes around and all of a sudden it went up my arm.”

Brett says his body was on fire, “it went wherever the block went.”

Ten days later, his skin is still healing. The worst of the burns are around his neck.

burn Stow Man Catches Fire After Applying Sunscreen

Brett Sigworth says he caught on fire after applying sunscreen.

Pictures from the hospital burn unit show the extent of his second degree burns on his chest, ear and back, where you can see the lines where he sprayed the sunscreen.

“There is no warning that says this product is flammable when applied to your skin or for a period of time when applied to skin,” he says.

The warnings only read, “flammable, don’t use near heat, flame or while burning” but nothing about once it’s applied.

“I think if people were told this is flammable for two minutes on your skin afterward, people wouldn’t use it,” he says.

And that’s why he is speaking out to prevent this from happening again.

Brett says, “I had no idea and it was so scary and I just wouldn’t want to see it happen to anyone else.”

Brett says he was lucky his friends and girlfriend saved his life that day by putting out the flames. Doctors say if he was on fire for only a few more seconds he would have suffered third or fourth degree burns.

Brett has an attorney but says he’s not looking for money from the company. Instead he wants more warnings and testing to see why this happened.

WBZ tried to reach Banana Boat for comment but could not reach them.

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