An Oakland man is recovering from serious burns he suffered Tuesday after a fuel tank exploded near him.

Edward Bishop, 33, was listed in fair condition Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Reached on his cellphone Wednesday afternoon, Bishop said he was unsure how long he would be in the hospital. He is being treated for what were believed to be second- and third-degree burns on his face and arms.

“The doctors are still trying to figure out what they’re going to do with the skin grafting,” he said.

Bishop declined to comment further on what happened, saying he would talk about it more when he’s had a chance to recover.

Bishop was using a gas-powered saw Tuesday afternoon to make the cut on a fuel tank at property off Foye Road in Manchester. Fire Chief Clarence Cram said the saw probably ignited fumes or old fuel inside the tank, although Cram was unsure what kind of fuel had been stored inside.

Bishop originally was flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and was later transferred to Maine Medical Center.

An investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to look into the explosion. Investigators from that office did not return a message seeking comment on Wednesday.

Contracts on file at the Town Office indicate that MaineGeneral Retirement Community hired Bishop as an independent contractor to clean up the property, formerly known as Hilliard Junkyard. The property abuts Granite Hill Estates, MaineGeneral’s retirement community in Hallowell and Manchester.

MaineGeneral officials declined to talk about the property and how the cleanup might proceed in light of Bishop’s injury.

“Without knowing more details, and out of respect for Mr. Bishop, there’s really nothing that we can add at this time,” said hospital spokeswoman Diane Peterson.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

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