Teen injured in fire adjusting to life after accident

BALDWIN — The Lake County community was floored when People's Choice Auto Repair burned down on Dec. 22. Although no one was killed in the blaze, it resulted in the destruction of the business and the hospitalization of 17-year-old employee Tyler Liske, who suffered multiple third-degree burns all over his body.

Despite severe injuries, Liske is making an astounding recovery considering his prognosis, has returned home and is returning to school at Mason County Central this week.

"I can talk again, I can see again, I can walk, I can breathe better," said Liske on his recovery. "I still can't play baseball again yet, but I'm going to practices on the days I don't have therapy."

Liske was released from the hospital and therapy on March 4, which is an incredible accomplishment according to doctors.

"The doctor expected me to be in the hospital for a year and be in a therapy center for another six months, but they said I've made amazing progress," recounted Liske.

Even after all he has been through, Liske's thoughts are of his family and friends. He holds no grudge against the Coleman's who owned People's Choice Auto Repair. He said the family has been there for him since the accident, and even credits owner Mike Coleman with saving his life that day.

"Mike and Janice Coleman were a tremendous help," Liske said. "There was a fundraiser for them, but they only took a little of the money raised. Their whole lives changed too when they lost their business."

Liske said his goal now is to continue getting better. He is attending occupational and physical therapy five days a week along with performing regular exercises at his home to aid the healing process. He said he is trying to raise money to pay for a speech therapist to further improve himself and hopes he will be able to play baseball again.

Liske is thankful for a number of people who have helped him along through this difficult time, notably his family, his doctors, the Coleman family, Rhonda Beuter (who organized the fundraiser to help both Liske and the Colemans), the AMVETS, Baldwin Congregational Church and everyone in the community who attended the fundraiser or prayed for his recovery.

"It all happened so fast," remarked Liske of the accident. "But that's how tragedy works. Now I'm just trying to get better."