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Unable to scream, throat cancer patient dies from burns

May 21, 1997

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A throat cancer patient died after setting himself on fire trying to light a cigar. He was unable to yell for help because his illness had cost him his vocal cords.

``I don’t ever want to witness anything like I witnessed this morning,” said Katie Brown, sister of Abraham Mosley. ``That will stay with me the rest of my life. He was a walking torch when I woke up.″

Mosley, 64, was taken to a hospital Tuesday after the fire but died a short time later.

Confined to a hospital bed in his kitchen, he apparently ignited strips of paper on a stove burner to light a cigar because his cancer left him unable to manipulate matches or a lighter. The flaming paper ignited gauze bandages that were around his neck. The fire then spread to his pajamas.

The silent seconds until the smoke alarm sounded may have cost Mosley his life, although he did not have long to live because of his cancer, officials said.

Mosley’s cancer was smoking-related but he was not advised to stop smoking because he was terminally ill anyway, Ms. Brown said. He was given two months to live.

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