Burn victim improves

Mar. 23, 2013 @ 06:18 AM

It has been six weeks since Randolph Nalley, Jr. of Polkville sustained critical burns while working at his vendor booth at the Forest City Flea Market on Bethany Church Road.

“I just backed into it,” Nalley said Friday, recalling the moment when he got too close to a propane gas heater, trying to keep himself warm in below-freezing temperatures.

“Before I knew it, I was on fire,” he said of the Feb. 9 incident.

Nalley said he fell on the ground, trying to get the fire out but couldn’t. 

“Then I panicked. If it hadn’t been for Earl Campbell, I wouldn’t be here,” Nalley said. Campbell, a former firefighter, said he used his firefighting experience to extinguish the fire on Nalley’s body.

Nalley was flown from the scene to the Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga. where he underwent surgeries and treatment. 

See Improving/Page A8

He was dismissed from the hospital several days after the accident, but must drive back and forth to Augusta for treatment and follow-up visits.

“I am doing pretty good right now and am healing good. I have to go back on April 4 to see if everything is healing,” Nalley said.

Nalley said he was released from the doctor to go back to work, but when he went to see his employer in Boiling Springs on Thrusday, he was told he didn’t have a job any longer.

“If it ain’t one thing it’s another,” he said. “When I got hurt, I had a job, but now they say I don’t.”

Nalley has been back to the flea market twice since accident and plans to be there today if weather permits.

He sells a variety of tools from the booth he rents with his father.

 He does not have medical insurance.

To help Nalley, monetary gifts can be received at his home, 3234-1 Polkville Road in Shelby, NC 2850 or find him at the Forest City Flea Market on weekends.