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Man dies from burns in apparent accident

Chester Cole, 54, of Perham, died last week from burns sustained in what the Perham Police Department said was an accident. Emergency responders, including EMS and the Perham Police and Fire Department, were called to 447 5th St. NW in Perham aft...

Chester Cole, 54, of Perham, died last week from burns sustained in what the Perham Police Department said was an accident.

Emergency responders, including EMS and the Perham Police and Fire Department, were called to 447 5th St. NW in Perham after witnesses reported seeing the victim alone minutes prior to the incident, and later hearing him hollering, according to the Perham Police.

The arriving officer found Cole on the ground with multiple burn injuries. He was transported to Perham Health and transferred to the St. Paul Hospital burn unit, according to his family, where he later died.

According to the police report, it appeared Cole had removed a gas tank from a small engine just prior to the incident. A large amount of gasoline was located on the ground near the gas tank and a lighter was also located in very close proximity to the gas tank.

No other parties are believed to be involved, according to the police, who also said drugs appeared to be involved.

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Apparently, Cole had made suicidal comments to others prior to the incident, and continued to make statements of self-harm to first responders upon their arrival. No foul play is suspected, however, it appeared drugs may have been a factor, according to the Perham Police.

Also assisting with the incident was the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office.

Related Topics: FIRES
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