DEPUTIES: Man Burned Using Lighter While Stealing Gas Line

Deputies say one of two brothers who broke into a church Monday to steal electrical wiring and a copper natural gas line used a cigarette lighter to see what he was doing.

Randolph County deputies say it didn't take them too long to link the two cases together.

First, around 4:00 a.m., rescue crews were called to a home in Franklinville where the burn victim told them he was pouring gasoline on burning garbage when the can exploded. Kyle Coleman was taken to the UNC Burn Center for 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face and hands.

Then, around 11:30 a.m. authorities were called to the Franklinville United Methodist Church where they found the cut gas line and damaged electrical wiring. They estimate the gas has been flowing for some eight to nine hours before a church member discovered it.

Lawmen say fortunately the fire, caused by the gas line explosion, did not damage the church that much. Coleman told deputies after cutting the gas line, he used the lighter to see in the dark, causing him to catch fire.

When they arrested Coleman, and his younger brother, Kevin, deputies found copper wiring and tubing taken from the church in their Asheboro home.

The two brothers are charged with breaking and entering a place of worship, felony larceny, possession of stolen goods, and burning of a church or religious building. They remain in jail on $75,000 secured bonds.

Kyle Coleman's jail mug shot shows obvious burn injuries to his face.


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