‘Hero’ saves man from flaming car

The driver of this car was saved his by neighbours in South Crescent Close, Filey, when he was dragged out while it was ablaze after the man had parked outside his house.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  114337a  28/10/11
The driver of this car was saved his by neighbours in South Crescent Close, Filey, when he was dragged out while it was ablaze after the man had parked outside his house. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114337a 28/10/11
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A PENSIONER’S life was saved by the heroic actions of a man who dragged him from a burning car.

The man risked his own life to pull the 65-year-old from the flaming Hyundai Amica in South Crescent Close, Filey, just seconds before the vehicle exploded in a ball of fire.

The driver of this car was saved his by neighbours in South Crescent Close, Filey, when he was dragged out while it was ablaze after the man had parked outside his house.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  114337a  28/10/11

The driver of this car was saved his by neighbours in South Crescent Close, Filey, when he was dragged out while it was ablaze after the man had parked outside his house. Picture by Andrew Higgins 114337a 28/10/11

After the man was pulled from the car outside his home, residents used their bare hands to extinguish the flames which had engulfed his lower body.

Following the incident, the rescuer and another person who came to the pensioner’s aid were treated for burn injuries to their hands which they sustained while fighting the flames on the man’s legs.

David Exley, of South Crescent Close, provided the rescuer with wet towels after he called 999.

He said: “My wife and I were in bed and we just heard an explosion. I looked out of the window and saw the car on fire and a man still inside. It was a terrible thing to see.

“Another gentleman pulled him out and dragged him away from the flames - the car could have gone up at any moment.

“That man saved the life of the person in the car, there’s no doubt about it.”

Josh Richardson and Tom McCabe watched the drama unfold from a window in South Crescent Avenue, which overlooks the normally quiet cul-de-sac.

They also paid tribute to the rescuer, who a friend said did not wish to be named yesterday.

“The man was in the car for a while. He wasn’t moving and already had his full leg on fire, if he had been in there any longer he would have been dead,” Mr Richardson said. “Before long the full car was on fire.”

Mr McCabe added: “The man who saved him was a hero. He didn’t have a clue what was going to happen. As soon as he got him out the car went bang.”

Two fire engines and an ambulance were quickly on the scene and the man was transferred to Scarborough Hospital after sustaining severe burns to the lower half of his body.

He was transferred yesterday to the specialist burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Eye-witnesses said the car was already well alight when the rescue was made, but after a series of explosions shortly afterwards flames were reaching 15ft into the air.

The decimated shell of the burned-out vehicle remained at South Crescent Close yesterday.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We’re not sure how the fire started, but we believe it was accidental and may have been caused by smokers’ material, such as a discarded match or cigarette. It was a fierce fire.”

at around 10:35pm on Thursday