Brave passer-by rushed over to help man engulfed in flames outside hostel
PUBLISHED: 15:06 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:21 09 November 2018
A passer-by has described how he rushed over to help a Norfolk man who was engulfed in flames outside a homeless hostel.
Shazad Ali said he initially thought he was witnessing a scene from a film after spotting the man walking across a road on fire.
But the 33-year-old quickly realised something was wrong and dashed over to try and put out the flames.
Cambridgeshire police said the man, who is in his 20s, remains in a critical condition after being found outside a YMCA on Wellington Street in Peterborough on Thursday morning.
Mr Ali said: “It was horrific to see. He was fully alight, head to toe.
“I was about to get out of my car to go to the shop and saw him out of the corner of my eye about 50m away.
“I couldn’t believe what I was watching. He was walking at a normal pace, he wasn’t screaming or shouting.
“Your mind plays crazy games with you, and I thought ‘this is a stunt or a scene from a film’.
“But I drove as fast as I could to get to him.
“His skin was blistering up and that was the moment I realised the fire was not stopping.”
Mr Ali, who lives in Peterborough, said he used his jacket to smother the flames.
Another woman arrived at the scene and the pair both covered the man to protect him from the elements.
Police said officers were called to reports of a man on fire outside the YMCA at 8.20am.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “The circumstances are not fully known at this time.
“The man has suffered severe injuries and was initially taken to Peterborough City Hospital by ambulance, but has since been airlifted to a specialist burns unit in Chelmsford.
“He is in a critical condition.”