RURAL MENAHGA, Minn. - A hunter here was severely burned Sunday when a space heater in a deer stand caused his sweatpants to catch fire, according to the Becker County Sheriff's Department.

Joseph Shepersky, 54, of rural Menahga, was flown to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis to be treated for burns on the lower half of his body, Chief Deputy Shane Richard said.

When Shepersky realized his pants were on fire, he climbed out of the deer stand, and his 15-year-old son helped to pull off his clothes, Richard said.

Emergency crews were called about 5:20 p.m., and firefighters put out flames that had spread from Shepersky's pants to the grass around the deer stand, Richard said.

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