A student burned to death in a gas explosion that put him in a coma for 12 days, said his life was saved by his new Calvin Klein tracksuit.
Jack Marlow, 26, was still sleeping in his mother’s summer house and was awakened by a large fire after a gas heater canister exploded.
He ran out of the burning outhouse and was taken to the hospital, where doctors were treating excruciating third-degree burns to his hands, face and feet.
He was put into a coma to save his life and had grafts from his legs to replace the skin on his hands.
But miraculously, he didn’t suffer any burns anywhere else on his body thanks to the £ 170 designer tracksuit he’d bought just a week earlier.
Student Jack, from Walsall, West Midlands, said paramedics told his mother that it saved his life because the high quality, fire retardant material blocked the flames.
Jack Marlow, 26
Cyber security student Jack said, “I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing a new tracksuit that I bought.
“It’s so lucky because I usually always wear shorts and a vest.
“I put it on because it was new.
“It was a Calvin Klein model made of premium cotton and fire-resistant.
“The paramedics cut it off for me in the ambulance and was told it had just turned black.
“You told my mother that I was lucky to be wearing it.
Jack Marlow, 26, in the hospital
“I literally burned my feet, hands and face – but nowhere where the tracksuit was covered.”
Jack dozed off in front of the TV in the summer house with his mother Nicole, 46, on April 17th.
The rear yard structure housed a gas heater with a new canister that was disconnected and turned off, the family said.
He was wearing a white and green cotton tracksuit with a hooded top that he had bought from Boohoo a week earlier.
Jack has no memory of the fire, but the firefighters told the family it could have started when a small leak from the gas bottle was ignited by a spark from an electrical appliance such as the television or refrigerator.
Jack’s sister Brittany, 23, whose room overlooks the summer house in the back garden, was awakened by a violent bang at 2:30 am.
She called for her father Colin, 43, and watched Jack run out of the cabin, burning.
The family called 999 and firefighters and an ambulance arrived.
Jack’s injuries begin to heal
While driving to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he fell into a coma, he was sedated and his airway was artificially kept open.
“I don’t remember anything,” said Jack
“It doesn’t look real when I look at the pictures of me in a coma.
“The firefighters said it was leaking very slowly so I didn’t notice it and it would have made me pass out.”
He still has face and hand pain, cannot flex his fingers properly, and has advice.
“It’s really hard to get out of the coma,” he said.
“My brain activity is not yet back to normal – it can take six to twelve months.
“I’m still in shock, and so is my body.
Jack Marlow, 26, in his new tracksuit
“That shouldn’t happen to anyone.
“But I feel lucky to be alive – thanks to my tracksuit.”
Paramedics crossed the tracksuit, which was blackened but withstood the fire, Jack explained.
The West Midlands Fire Department said: “We were called to a property on Pelsall Lane in Walsall at 2:08 am on April 17th.
“The incident was initially reported to us as a shed fire.
“Two fire engines – a total of ten fire fighters – were in action within five minutes from the Bloxwich and Walsall stations.
“A man in his mid-twenties was involved.
Jack Marlow, 26
“The rescue service was on duty.
“The report on the system said, ‘This is a fire in a back garden building that went out when the firefighters arrived.’
“A man suffered burns and was first taken care of by the fire brigade, then the treatment was taken over by the ambulance.
“He was hospitalized in Birmingham.
“The man had taken himself out of the building before we arrived.”
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