Spanish Fork man dies from burns while grilling over Easter Weekend

Apr 5, 2018, 7:04 PM | Updated: 11:08 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah – A 73-year old Utah County man was killed after suffering severe burns when his clothing caught fire while grilling out over the weekend.

The family of 73-year-old Larry Webster wanted to warn others about potential safety hazards following the tragic incident.

Photo courtesy Webster family

Webster’s family had gathered for its annual Easter Sunday barbecue in their Spanish Fork backyard. He was grilling burgers, when suddenly his family saw a fireball.

“My sister saw a flash – a flare up,” said Kim Miller, Webster’s daughter. “The barbecue was on fire. I turned around and saw him on fire, and I ran out here.”

Miller said it all happened faster than they could react.

“The thing I want to stress here is this happened in two minutes,” she said.

Apparently grease from the burgers flared up and caught Webster’s shirt on fire. Miller grabbed a blanket and was able to get the flames out by covering her father on the back lawn.

Robin Thatcher, another daughter, kept Webster talking until medical help arrived.

“We were having conversations with him,” she said. “We asked him his name and his age and where he was, and he [answered]. When he heard we were calling 911, he said, ‘I’m fine I don’t need anything, I’m fine.’”

Webster had 2nd and 3rd degree burns over the top half of body, and he was flown to the University of Utah Health Care – Intermountain Burn Center.

The burns were too severe, and he died from his injuries Wednesday afternoon.

Photo courtesy Webster family

As they grieve, the family wanted to share the message that something like this can happen to anyone. “I just want to tell people whether it’s barbecuing or an open pit fire, just be super careful,” Miller said. “It can happen just that fast and it can be life changing – not only for them but for the family.”

The tragic reminder comes as warmer weather leads to more outdoor activities and especially barbecues in the backyard in the months ahead.

Photo courtesy Webster family

“I admit there’s time I have lit a barbecue and have had a flame, but not like that,” Thatcher said. “But it just got a corner of his sleeve and we don’t want that to happen to anybody – to go through what we have witnessed. I witnessed my dad burning, and I watched him die all within 4 days. I would never want anyone to go through that.”

A Gofundme account* has been set up to help with medical expenses. Funeral services for Larry Webster will be held in Spanish Fork next Monday.


*KSL does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Spanish Fork man dies from burns while grilling over Easter Weekend