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Photographer expected to survive after junkyard explosion

Helmuth Montoya, model injured in fire

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The wife of an independent photographer that was seriously burned during an explosion at a junkyard photo shoot Tuesday said he's expected to survive.

"I am extremely grateful that he is alive," Stacey Montoya said. "His face is burned pretty bad, but it's hard to tell because he lots of tubes and bandages."

Police said Helmuth Montoya was taking pictures of a woman who was sitting inside of a car at the junkyard off Northwest 19th Street and 27th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Candles were used as a backdrop in the photo shoot, which caused gas fumes to ignite, fire rescue officials said.

The fire burned most of the woman's body and doctors told Stacey Montoya that her husband played a part in the rescue.

"That is exactly what he would do, to rush in and save someone," Stacey Montoya said.

The junkyard manager told Local 10 News that the victims had permission to be at the site.

Authorities said the woman has life-threatening injuries, and Montoya, who also suffered serious burns, is expected to survive.

"They feel pretty confident that he will pull through," Stacey Montoya said. "I imagine he is in a lot of pain."

Meanwhile, the family of the woman injured said they are keeping the woman's medical updates private at this time.

A representative from the junkyard told Local 10 News that they are in the process of retaining an attorney.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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