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Coors Amphitheatre Concessionaire Burned At Tom Petty Concert

SAN DIEGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – According to the Union-Tribune, a 20-year-old man working at a Kettle Corn stand during the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers concert at Coors Amphitheatre, on Aug. 20, was badly burned in a fire at the concession. He spent six days in the hospital and was released Friday, an amphitheater spokesman said yesterday.

It took more than a week for the amphitheater's manager to publicly confirm the incident. Chula Vista fire officials have repeatedly declined to comment.

A Chula Vista police spokesman, citing a computer summary he tracked down, said Friday that the rescue had been coordinated by the Chula Vista Fire Department and involved the city of San Diego's fire-rescue helicopter.

Concertgoer Brad Wallace said he saw the fire about 10 p.m. He said the free-standing tent where the Kettle Corn had been sold suddenly caught fire in an open plaza within the amphitheater.

"A guy ran out and he was on fire," Wallace said. "People started to walk toward the fire. Police or fire officials grabbed fire extinguishers to put it out. . . . It was a really chaotic scene."

Wallace estimated the fire was extinguished within four minutes. About 15 minutes after that, the helicopter landed and took the patient, he said.

Police spokesman Bernard Gonzales said the fire burned the man's arms and torso. The victim, who apparently worked as an attendant at the stand, has not been identified.

David Swift, the amphitheater's general manager, initially declined to comment when contacted last week. He referred questions to a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based House of Blues Entertainment, which owns the concert venue. The spokesman did not return several telephone messages seeking comment.

Yesterday, Swift said he didn't know what had caused the fire and was awaiting a report from investigators. He said the Kettle Corn stand has not operated at the amphitheater since the accident.

The victim spent six days in a hospital, Swift said.

The fire is also being investigated by the state's division of the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration.