Asheboro man suffers burns after he cuts gas line at church during break-in

(L-R) Kyle Coleman and Kevin Coleman

(L-R) Kyle Coleman and Kevin Coleman

FRANKLINVILLE, N.C. — An Asheboro man suffered third degree burns after deputies say he cut a gas line during a break-in at a church in Franklinville and used a cigarette lighter to see what he was doing.

Kyle, 24, and his brother Kevin Coleman, 19, both of Asheboro, were charged with breaking and entering a place of worship, felony larceny, possession of stolen goods and burning of a church or religious building, according to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

A call came in around 4 a.m. Monday from Kyle Coleman who first claimed he was burning garbage when the gas can he was using exploded.

Coleman was transported to UNC Hospital for second and third degree burns to his face and hands.

The Franklinville Fire Department later responded to a Hazmat call around 11:30 a.m. Monday, at Franklinville United Methodist Church where they found that a copper natural gas line and electrical wiring had been cut and removed from the basement.

Randolph County Sheriff’s deputies quickly linked the burn victim with the gas line damage.

Detectives responded to Coleman’s address on Pilot Court in Asheboro where copper wiring and tubing that was taken from the church was recovered.

Kyle’s brother, Kevin Coleman, was taken into custody at this time. Kyle was taken into custody after returning home from the hospital later Monday evening.

During the investigation detectives learned that Kyle Coleman had used a cigarette lighter while in the basement of the church as a light source to see what he was doing.

After the gas line had been cut, he continued to use the lighter, causing the natural gas to ignite causing his injuries.

The fire caused minimal damage to the flooring and basement of the church. The removal of the gas line and wiring caused other damage to the church.

An estimate of the cost of the damage to the church has not been determined at this time.

The gas line was cut during the early morning causing at least 8 to 9 hours worth of natural gas to flow into the church. An estimate on the cost of the natural gas lost is still to be determined.

The suspects are in the Randolph County Jail under a $750,000 secure bond each.

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