Tyler County Man Injured When Trailer Explodes
SISTERSVILLE – A Tyler County man was flown by medical helicopter Tuesday evening to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh after he carried out a threat to blow up his trailer home.
According to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Lee Cooper of 6684 Tyler Highway in Sistersville reportedly left a message on a friend’s phone Tuesday afternoon stating that he had filled his trailer with gas and propane. Deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to the scene and made phone contact with Cooper.
Deputies said Cooper made threats to his own life and attempted to lure officers into the residence. According to reports, Cooper also made threats to the officers’ lives. He was kept on the phone for more than two hours in an effort to end the situation without incident, officials said.
However, Cooper refused to leave the residence. After losing phone contact with Cooper, officials continued to monitor the residence and shut down W.Va. 18 for safety reasons.
At about 6:53 p.m., officers made phone contact again with Cooper who said he would come out of the residence. Before exiting the residence and while on the phone with a deputy, Cooper attempted to light a cigarette. This cause an explosion that engulfed the trailer in flames.
About a minute later, Cooper fell out of a window and landed on the ground.
Officers carried him to safety and Cooper was then transported by Middlebourne EMS to a medical helicopter transport pad in New Martinsville. From there he was flown to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.
The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office.
Additional officers from Middlebourne, Sistersville, Paden City, and Shirley and Alma fire departments and Middlebourne EMA assisted at the scene.