68-year-old in wheelchair seriously burned during illegal fire in Marlborough

A 68-year-old man in a wheelchair was taken to the hospital after suffering serious burns to more than 40 percent of his body, according to the Marlborough Fire Department.

The department said they responded to the man's Lakeshore Drive home around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Sky25 was over the scene as first responders appeared to be focused on a charred area next to the garage, and the Marlborough Fire Chief confirmed that the resident was burning within 10 feet of the garage on the property, causing minor damage to the garage.

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The victim's burn injuries were from his waist down, and he was flown via MedFlight to the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Boston 25 News spoke with the man, Marlborough native Gene Rano, back in 2017 after his home had been ransacked.

Burglars stole three computers holding precious memories, like photos of his family and late daughter, who died at just 12 years old.

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"I peaked through my bedroom door and I just started crying," Rano said in 2017.

He had been in the hospital at the time, after recovering from a stroke at the time of the break-in.

Thousands of dollars in cash were also taken, and the Vietnam veteran has also been wheelchair-bound since a bad motorcycle crash.

The cause of Tuesday's fire is under investigation, but the Marlborough Fire Chief said the man didn't have a permit to start the fire.

No burning was allowed across the state Tuesday because of a high fire danger.