Propane warehouse manager fought through flames to save lives

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A manager at a Sebring propane warehouse showed heroics in the face of flames this week.

He was badly burned while putting others before himself. Wayne McCall’s boss says his quick-thinking may have saved lives.

His family is overwhelmed and still terrified by Monday’s explosion.

Wayne’s niece says her uncle is a tough guy with a big heart. His heroic actions don’t surprise her.

“It’s hard for me to not get emotional talking about it,” Brittany Deoca said. “We all grew up really close, too, so when one person is going through a tragedy, we all kind of feel it.”

For the McCall’s, family is everything, and together they’ve been trying to survive the rough days following Monday’s fiery explosion at a propane warehouse in Sebring.

“Wayne is a very caring person, he puts off that he’s a big joker, but he has a big heart,” Deoca said.

McCall, a plant manager, went above and beyond, according to his boss.

“He certainly could have saved some lives, he certainly could have,” said Doug Mann, the vice president of Kosan Crisplant.

Mann said, despite having burns on his hands, McCall managed to get his keys out of his pocket, unlock a bay door, and get to the main propane valve to shut it off.

And according to his niece, McCall didn’t let his injuries stop him from urging residents at a nearby mobile home park to evacuate. McCall’s warning came minutes before the park was destroyed by exploding propane tanks.

“It’s very much like him to be worried about others,” Deoca said.

The McCalls say Wayne took care of everyone else, and now it’s their turn to take care of him on his long road to recovery.

According to family members, McCall has second and third-degree burns on 25% of his body - mainly his arms and legs. He also has burns on his face. He’s had one surgery and more are expected over the next few weeks.

It took firefighters several hours to put out the flames. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.