Explosion report leads to discovery of deceased man

Coroner says victim died before any fire

By Jeff Gilliland - [email protected]

A report of a possible oxygen tank explosion Wednesday evening led to the discovery of a deceased man at a Hillsboro residence, local officials said Thursday.

Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Lt. Brandon Jackman said the Highland County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 6:32 p.m. Wednesday reporting a possible oxygen tank explosion at 352 Johnson St. from a neighbor who reported finding smoke inside the residence.

Upon arrival at the scene, Jackman said Paint Creek personnel located a victim who had been expired for some time.

Dr. Jim McKown, an investigator with the Highland County Coroner’s Office, identified the deceased as Richard Pollard, 54.

Highland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Beery said it appeared Pollard died of a heart attack before any type of fire started.

Jackman said there was some smoldering on a table near where the victim was found, but that there was no smoke or fire damage to the home.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene, Jackman said, and its investigation is still pending.

As a public service announcement, Jackman reminded people that they should not smoke when they are using home oxygen. “It’s just not a good idea,” he said.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Coroner says victim died before any fire

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]