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."