Victim dies from injuries in auto body shop accident


MISSOULA, Mont. - Representatives at Harborview Medical Center have confirmed that a man flown to Seattle after an explosion at a Missoula auto body shop has died.

44-year-old Bruce Hall passed away early Tuesday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after he was severely burned in a chemical explosion at Rick's Auto Body on West Broadway.

Hall's sister and son spoke with NBC Montana Tuesday afternoon. They hope Hall will be remembered as a generous man, always willing to help others.

"For instance next week he was going to take a week of unpaid vacation to drive a friend of his to Minnesota for a family issue," said Hall's sister Laura Hall. "That's just the kind of person he was. He will do without if that means he could help somebody out."

"He was definitely one of the most kind people that you'd run in to," said Hall's son Aaron Hall. "He could definitely see the positive in people even if other people couldn't."

Funeral arrangements are being made for next month. Hall's sister says a service will likely be outside, as Bruce loved nature.

Missoula Fire Marshal Gordon Hughes said there was a vapor explosion from lacquer thinner that ignited from a static charge in a car bay at the back of the shop. Hughes said two employees suffered burns from the incident.

The other man was treated and released at Saint Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Missoula Fire Department are investigating the incident.