Man Who Set Self on Fire in Church Dies

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Man Who Set Self on Fire in Church Dies

Vito Badlamente, pictured with his late wife, died February 25 from 3rd degree burns suffered from accidentally setting himself on fire at a Hicksville church.

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The 89-year old Hicksville man who accidentally set himself on fire in church while lighting a candle for his late wife has died.

Vito Badlamente died late Friday night at Nassau University Medical Center after suffering third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body.

The fire happened early Thursday morning before morning Mass at the Holy Family Catholic Church.

Police say the World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient had been lighting a candle in memory of his late wife when he accidentally set his clothes on fire.  

A priest, Father Henry Reid, heard a fire alarm from the rectory nearby and rushed to Badlamente's aid, using a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze.

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