SACO — Firefighters were called to the old central fire station at 12 Thornton Ave. on Thursday morning for what was initially described as a house fire, but turned out to be a worker on the roof.

The building is being renovated into apartments and commercial space, and workers were repairing a section of roof ahead of today’s snowstorm when the clothing of one worker caught fire at about 10 a.m., authorities said.

The worker was using glue and a torch to lay a sheet of rubber roofing when his pants caught fire, said Saco Fire Chief John Duross. Co-workers were able to smother the flames but the man received what appeared to be second- and third-degree burns on his legs, Duross said.

Rescue workers were able to get to the man using the department’s ladder truck then lowered him in a basket using the Biddeford Fire Department’s aerial platform.

He was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, which has a burn treatment unit.

An investigator with the state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the incident.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or

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