Fayetteville fire officials say a former WRAL News photographer and his wife sustained personal injuries on the night of January 3 after a scuba tank fell in their garage and exploded.


Family friends said that 47-year-old Rick Allen suffered severe burns over 20 percent of his body and required amputation of his left forearm. Hospital officials say he was listed in critical condition at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.


Allen’s wife, 53-year-old Cindy Burnham, a photographer with The Fayetteville Observer, was on the other side of the wall when the explosion took place, facing a mirror. She suffered cuts when the glass shattered.


Allen, an avid scuba diver, was walking between his cars around 11:30 p.m. when he suddenly knocked over a metal oxygen tank, fire officials said.

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