DALLAS –– A 48-year-old Tyler man is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital after his Halloween costume caught on fire Thursday night, Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley said.
"This is a rare thing to happen; somewhat unusual," Findley said.
The incident happened in the backyard of a Tyler home where the man was visiting. Right now, investigators believe a cigarette may have ignited the ghillie suit –– which is made of stringy, camouflage material –– he was wearing as part of his costume.
The victim suffered burns over about 40 percent of his body, Findley said. After being rushed to a hospital in Tyler, the man was then flown to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Because none of the witnesses saw the fire actually start, investigators are hoping to talk to the victim as they try to figure out what happened.
Someone used a fire extinguisher to help put out the flames, Findley said. There were at least four people at the home for a Halloween party when the fast-moving fire started.
The fire marshal plans to send off material from the suit for analysis. He added that the suit was not homemade.
Investigators hope to determine where the suit was purchased when it was made. The victim's name has not been released.