Oregon OSHA Investigating Film Explosion Stunt That Injured Actor

May 20, 2009

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into a stunt that left a movie actor in critical condition with third-degree burns.

Melanie Mesaros, an agency spokeswoman, confirmed the investigation, but said it’s too soon to comment because it just began. It’s expected that Oregon OSHA will try to determine exactly what went wrong May 9, when actor Joshua Frazier of Lebanon leaped from a window during an explosion while filming an action film titled “Remnant.”

Frazier, 29, the film’s co-creator and leading man, remains in the Oregon Burn Center at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital. His business partner, Jeff Hamar, told The Oregonian newspaper last week that the actor suffered burns on more than 40 percent of his body. He said Frazier had been unconscious since arriving at the burn center and had undergone skin graft surgeries, but was breathing without mechanical assistance.

In a Craigslist ad seeking a camera operator, the scene was described as a shot in which the actor is blown through a window with two separate explosions.

Scio fire chief Rich LaBelle said Frazier and the crew gathered on the movie set early that Saturday to rehearse. The had been using the abandoned house for training for about a year and had invited firefighters from around the area for training that day. The movie crew shot the scene as the firefighters were preparing for their drill.

“Our stipulation was that they didn’t put any fire in or around the building until we had a fire engine there,” LaBelle said. “That was our only stipulation.”

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but don’t know what caused the stunt to fail, LaBelle said.

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