Mario Castro Poma, who was severely burned in a car fire on Saturday, is listed in stable condition Monday morning at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., authorities reported.
Around 5:30 a.m., Chattanooga firefighters at Station 9 in East Lake rushed to 4002 Clio Ave. to find a car fully engulfed in flames.
Captain David Barie said the firefighters were initially focused on the car fire, but they eventually noticed a man across the street who appeared to be suffering from burns.
Hamilton County EMS transported 29-year-old Mario Castro Poma to Erlanger Hospital with second- and third-degree burns to 30-40 percent of his body.
He was later airlifted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. An update on his condition was not available.
Details are sketchy, but Lieutenant Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division said it appears that Mr. Poma had fallen asleep in the vehicle and left the car running. The car was parked over tall, dry grass and Lt. Waters believes the hot catalytic converter on the underside of the vehicle may have ignited the grass and then spread to the car.
The Major Crimes Division with the Chattanooga Police Department is assisting with the investigation.