New Mexico man suffers extreme burns to toes in wildfire

EDGEWOOD, NM (KRQE) – A New Mexico man who was injured while helping his neighbors fight wildfire now needs public help. “I wore these cowboy boots right here and when you look at them you can see that they didn’t survive the fire,” says Brett Burton.

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Families in the area survived, however, and their homes are still standing after the Paradise Loop Fire broke out in Edgewood on Saturday. All thanks to the quick action of Brett Burton. “The ridge was on fire, flames shot a good 12 to 15 meters into the sky. Smoke and wind, the wind, the wind that was blowing was blowing hard, so I knew I didn’t have much time, ”says Burton.

Burton says he got a call from a neighbor about the fire. He says he rushed home and went to work. “We connected the hoses and I ran out to the fire,” says Burton. The 53-year-old was able to keep the fire under control until the firefighters showed up and when they did so he made a shocking discovery. “When I got home and took off my boots and socks, I found that the balls of my feet and the tips of my toes were badly burned,” says Burton.

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Burton now has second and third degree burns on his toes and feet. He’s also a diabetic, so infection is a big problem. “The infections cut off toes and feet,” says Burton.

He says he’ll be out of work for five to six weeks. His daughter started a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that,” says Burton.

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The fire started because someone was burning trash in the area and Burton hopes this will remind people to be more responsible. “We just have to be very careful now to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says Burton.

The New Mexico Forest Division says approximately 52 acres were burned in the fire. So far, GoFundMe has raised about $ 700.

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