Man injured in Lancaster County fire says he’s on the road to recovery

Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire was electrical.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – It’s been nearly four months since a fire ripped through a building at Lancaster County’s Shadow Brook Farm and injured one of their own.

Ian Richmond suffered second and third-degree burns to several parts of his body, but says he’s on the road to recovery.

Flashback to February 28, Richmond was working late that evening at Shadow Brook and decided to sleep for the night at the farm.  He woke up to flames that quickly engulfed the storefront and cheese plant building.

“My biggest concerns off the bat weren’t really about how badly I was burned or the pain that I was in because I had so much adrenaline.  I think your body reacts in ways that allow you to not really feel that pain,” Richmond said.  “My biggest concerns really were, immediately went to our business and the farm and just how that was going to affect the coming weeks, months, years.”

Richmond spent almost two weeks at CHI Health St. Elizabeth’s Burn Unit after the fire.  He suffered third-degree burns to his hands and second-degree burns to his face and scalp.

Since then, he has had two surgeries and multiple skin grafts, including skin moved from his thigh to rebuild the skin on his hands.

Today, he still does Occupational Therapy three times a week to regain mobility and overall function in his hands.  So far doctors are seeing real improvement in his right hand but the left is still only about 50% healed.

“I’m still probably two and a half, three months out from really getting all the mobility or the new normal of what my functionality will be with that hand,” Richmond said.  “And they tell me I’m about a year out before the skin will be completely healed and I can be kind of outside of any worries.”

Richmond has to wear special UV light gloves anytime he’s outside to block the sun.  Underneath those, he wears compression gloves 24/7 that help with swelling and overall healing of his hands.

For the time being, Richmond will be doing some light loads around the farm, like driving the tractor and irrigating some of the plants.

He says as horrible as his injuries have been, he’s just thankful to be alive.

“I feel really blessed that I’m a light sleeper, and I woke up to the flames and not really the smoke,” Richmond said.  “The fire had maybe only been burning for 2 minutes, 3 minutes before I woke up and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m still here today.”

He wants to say thank you to his family, friends, and the local community for the support over these last few months.

A GoFundMe that was created back in March raised nearly $50,000.

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