It was March 6, 2008, a cold day with misty rain falling. Jason Lovell along with his brother-in-law, John Mouser and a friend, Wayne had gone to visit a friend who lived out in the country. When they arrived at their friends, Jason walked over to where they were warming themselves around a fire that was in a burn barrel.
Within about 10 seconds of arriving at the fire pit, a huge explosion happened and a fire ball “whoosh” hit him in the chest and face. All Jason could see was a literal wall of fire. He instinctively panicked and started to run and quickly dropped to the ground as he remembered the famous “stop, drop, and roll” but the jacket he was wearing was literally melting into his upper body. Thanks to the quick actions of John and Wayne, who helped extinquish the flames (even burned themselves some), they kept the damage from being even more severe.
The friends tried to help by pulling his jacket and clothing off of him. To their horror not only was his clothing coming off but his skin was as well. The friends put him in the back of the car and they sped back to San Saba calling his wife as soon as they were able to get cell phone service. His wife, Betty, notified the EMS they were en route.
Upon arriving at the EMS barn, the EMS crew was there and ready to go. After one look at the extent of his burns, they decided to go to the airport to meet Star Flight. However, the weather was so bad that Star Flight had to abort their mission.
Unfortunately, no one was certified in San Saba to provide pain meds, but someone did start an IV. They rushed him to Brownwood Hospital where he was stabilized with pain meds and transferred by ambulance to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. His wife Betty went with him and stayed with him for the next two weeks.
Thirty five percent of his body was 3rd degree burns. The most severe damage was to his torso and lower extremities to his knees. His left ear was severely burned as well as portions of his face.
When Jason was asked about how he would describe that fateful day, he said “It was the worst day of my life. It felt like descriptions of the worst kind of torture a person could have.”
Jason said without the support of his wife, Betty, and his children, Chris (age 14) and daughter, Rebecca (age 6) who have been there for his every need he doesn’t know how he would have made it.
Betty commented that she would never have been able to be there with him without the support of her family, Elvin and Frances Ischy and her sister Rebecca and sister Lynn, who lives in Jarrell.
Jason and Betty just want all of San Saba to know what a difference they have made, with a special appreciation to the San Saba EMS. In fact, Jason and Betty have signed up to be volunteers with the San Saba EMS and Betty says she’d like to invite everyone who can to join the San Saba EMS.
“We never know what a difference one day can make,” said Betty. She felt the EMS literally helped save her husband’s life.
Betty is especially grateful to her employer, Super S Foods in San Saba for working with her and putting out jars of support and to all those who gave.
Although Jason is healing remarkably well, he is still not able to work. Things have been very difficult as they struggle to make their house payments of $350 a month and their utilities that are currently past due of around $250. The only income for the family at this time is Betty’s paycheck from Super S.
Anyone wishing to assist can do so by:
1. Paying on their electric bill at the City of San Saba
2. Giving money through the San Saba Ministerial Alliance for assistance
3. Or their mailing address is 702 South Bluffton and phone number is 372-3711.