Man Dies After Being Badly Burned in Wapwallopen

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UPDATE: The Lehigh County Coroner confirmed that Edward Strzelecki passed away Wednesday night due to injuries he received in the fire.

WAPWALLOPEN -- A man from Wapwallopen was burned by an explosion and fire Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators said Strzelecki was burned after an explosion and fire at his garage Wednesday afternoon.

"Evidently he was working on the tractor. He was taking gas out of one into another. That's what they surmised happened," said the victim's cousin Joe Kubricki.

Family members told Newswatch 16 it seems to have been a freak accident.

Edward Strzelecki, 80, was in his garage next to his home on South River Street in Wapwallopen.

Fire officials believe there was an explosion and a fire. When they arrived, they said Strzelecki was face down in a corner of the garage.

The local fire chief knows the victim.

"My dad and him were about the same age and they drove truck and he was a very, very nice guy. Would do anything for you," said Pond Hill/Lily Lake Fire Chief Todd Badman.

Family members said they are so grateful to a good Samaritan, a man who works in a hospital in the Lehigh Valley who was driving by and spotted trouble here.

"He was driving by. He was at his summer house up at Lily Lake and he said the garage was on fire, and he went around and got him out. I mean he got the fire out," said Kubricki.

Strzelecki's family said he is a wonderful person, a loving father of five children.

"He had a bad stroke a couple of years ago and I would stop the truck by the road, come here and talk to him. Didn't do it enough, I guess. Guess that's the way it is with family, you know? Great guy, great guy," said Kubricki tearfully.