Pottawatomie County Undersheriff confirms an elderly man passed away early Friday after a wildfire broke out on his property.
A neighbor saw smoke and reported the fire in the 18000 block of South Rock Creek Road around 10:15 a.m. Both Tecumseh and Earlsboro firefighters responded to the scene.
According to Undersheriff Travis Palmer, 80-year-old Johnny Watson was brush hogging his field when a fire sparked in his pasture. Deputies believe Watson was trying to stomp out the flames, but his clothes caught fire.
Undersheriff Palmer said Watson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Watson’s body was severely burned, but Undersheriff Palmer said it is unclear if his death was due to the fire or a medical issue before the fire burned his body. The state medical examiner will determine Watson’s official cause of death.
Undersheriff Palmer said for the time being, this case will be classified as a wildfire death.