1990 burn victim dies in house fire

House fire. (Fotolia)

House fire. (Fotolia)

Camille Laurin-Desjardins, Reuters

, Last Updated: 6:41 PM ET

MONTREAL — Richard Auclair, a former factory worker who confounded doctors 24 years ago when he survived an explosion at a paint plant, has died in a house fire.

The severely-burned suburban Montrealer was 59.

In 1990, Auclair was working at the Sabag paint factory when a sudden explosion left him with burns over 80% of his body.

"He crossed paths with a fireball," Auclair's sister, Francine, said. "He was supposed to die that night. At the hospital, they said it was a miracle."

It was a difficult road to recovery for Auclair, but his rehab was successful. He became a volunteer for a firefighter's foundation that helped burn victims. He was also the spokesman for a firefighter lottery in 1991.

"That explosion caused him to suffer his entire life," Francine told QMI Agency. "And yet he always wanted to help those who were lacking. I think it's important to pay tribute to him today."


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