Vidalia man airlifted to Baton Rouge for burn treatment after house fire

Published 4:21 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — A Vidalia man was airlifted to a Baton Rouge hospital after being severely burned in a house fire Friday afternoon.

Robert “Mallary” Lancaster, 76, was in his downstairs bedroom in a recliner at 314 Elm St. when a fire began in that room. Exactly how the fire started is yet unknown, but a family member said Lancaster was on oxygen and was smoking.

Lancaster’s daughter, Kristin Wheeler, her husband, Todd Wheeler and son, Fox, 12, were upstairs in the home but escaped without injury.

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“We heard a commotion downstairs and came down to see what was going on, and he was on fire,” Kristin Wheeler said. The Wheelers were able to summon help and make it out of the home without injury.

She said Lancaster suffered burns to most of his body. A neighbor standing with Wheeler at the scene said, “It’s not looking good for him.”

Firefighters with the Vidalia Fire Department and the Concordia Parish Fire District were at the scene at approximately 3:50 p.m., wrapping up their work.

This story will be updated as more information is available.