Man severely burned in San Marco car fire

Photo by Frank Powers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man was severely burned before dawn Thursday in a car fire near the train crossing on Atlantic Boulevard in San Marco,  the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

The Ford Mustang found burning at 3:30 a.m. a business parking lot between the railroad tracks and Arcadia Place. Robert Hetsler, 43, was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries. 

According to the police report, Hetsler told arriving officers that "the car blew up." When asked if he had been smoking in the car, he said, "That might have happened."

While police at the scene said they did not suspect any criminal activity in the fire or injury, the report said homicide detectives were called due to "the suspicious nature of the incident." The State Fire Marshal was called to determine how the fire started.

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.