Craig Hickman, member of the Maine House of Representatives delivers the keynote speech at the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast Celebration in Orono. Credit: Gabor Degre

A state representative from Winthrop is recovering from serious burns he suffered Tuesday in an accident on his property.

Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland Tuesday morning for treatment of burns on his legs and chest. According to the State Fire Marshal’s office, Hickman was trying to light a brush pile behind his Annabessacook Road home using gasoline when the gas vapors exploded.

A friend tried to take Hickman to the hospital but stopped at the Winthrop Fire Station and called for help. Hickman was taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston before being transferred to Maine Medical Center by Lifeflight helicopter.

Mary-Erin Casale, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, said on Tuesday afternoon that Hickman is expected to make a full recovery and return home in approximately two days. Gideon told legislators in an email that he suffered first-degree burns.

A hospital spokeswoman said Hickman was in fair condition.

Hickman is serving his third term in the Maine House of Representatives, where he represents Winthrop, Readfield and part of Monmouth, and has filed to run for a fourth term. He and his husband run an organic farm, and he was a key supporter of food sovereignty legislation signed by Gov. Paul LePage in 2017.

The Republican governor singled Hickman out as one of the “few Democrats that had the courage to come down and work with me” in his last State of the State address in February.

BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

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Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.