Rochester, MN  ( KROC AM News) - A Stewartville man was severely burned Monday and Olmsted County investigators are trying to figure out what happened.

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scott Behrns says a witness reported an abandoned building was burning on property located at 4617 70 Ave NE  near Viola around 6:00 PM. The witness also saw a man running from the site to a nearby residence. 

Deputies found the man there wearing only boxer shorts.  Behrns says the man had either ripped the clothes off or they were burned.

The man - identified as 37-year-old Joshua Bale - was airlifted to the burn unit at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.  No word on his medical condition. 

Behrns says the cause of the fire is under investigation. He says there was narcotics-related evidence at the scene. Behrns says the statement Bale gave to investigators was not consistent with the evidence.

Behrns says the property was tax-forfeited and is now owned by the county.

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