A Calhoun man was critically injured Monday morning when a gas meter reportedly exploded in his face. Gene Little, about 35, of Grantsville was life-flighted to the Morgantown trauma center from Smithville, Ritchie County, suffering from severe injuries to his face and head.

Little, an employee of Creston Oil and Gas, was in surgery most of Monday. A family spokesperson said his condition was "improved" last night and he was responding to voice commands. Earlier fears that he had lost his vision seemed to have lessened, but his condition will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning.

"Most of his facial bones were shattered," said the spokesperson, causing brain injury that required extensive surgery.

Little's wife, Kelley, is in Morgantown. They have a two-year-old son Ryan.

Family members are requesting prayer for the injured man.

A fire completely destroyed the home of Little's mother last Saturday. Geraldine Little and two other sons lost virtually all their belongings in the blaze, which also destroyed the home of Linda Sampson, the dwellings are located on Sinking Springs Road near Route 16 at Mount Zion.

"This has not been a good week for the Little family," said the spokesperson.

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