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Utahn Hospitalized After Being Electrocuted While Wood Burning

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A wood burning accident nearly cost a man his life and now he has a warning for others about the controversial art form.

Since 2016, Bren Timothy has used a process that uses high-voltage electricity called Lichtenberg or fractal wood burning to create art.

“I thought it was completely safe,” he said. “Found out that it wasn’t.”

Cell phone video that his son shot shows Timothy on the day after Thanksgiving, burning letters into wood. Little did he know, it would be his last time burning wood this way.

“This last one it shocked me,” he said. Though “shocked” may be an understatement. “It did a lot of damage,” he said.

The same night the video was taken, something went wrong.

“The next thing I know, my body’s locked up. I have 3,000 volts running through me,” he said. “I am falling backward and that’s the last thing I remember.”

Timothy remembered thinking he was a dead man.

“I was technically gone,” he said. And he would have remained that way he said, were it not for his 12-year-old son Jaydan.

“He did everything right and saved my life basically,” he said.

Jayden saw his dad collapse, shut off the power and grabbed his grandpa.

“My eyes were rolled back to my head and I wasn’t breathing so they started CPR and got me back,” Timothy said. “I remember just gasping for air…looking down and seeing the smoke coming off of my gloves that were basically welded to my hands.”

Timothy went to the hospital and was then transported to the University of Utah Burn Center.

“They were checking me over and he said yeah we actually see a lot of these accidents,” Timothy said of his doctor.

That’s when he and his family learned just how dangerous fractal burning is. According to the Woodworking Network, it’s a controversial process that has caused injuries and even death.

Timothy returned home with a message for others after a couple of surgeries and three weeks in the hospital because no amount of beauty in his artwork could make up for what he nearly lost.

“It’s just a dangerous form of art,” he said. “I’m done. I’ll never do this again. Because it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it.”

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