Cumberland man accidentally sets himself on fire, good samaritans put out flames

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WLNE): A man in Cumberland is in the hospital after accidentally lighting himself on fire and a few good samaritans quickly jumped into action.

Lydia Himmighoefer was at her friends house on Colonial Avenue in Cumberland on Saturday night when she heard a loud bang and looked outside.

“A car was going up the street and yelling he’s on fire,” Himmighoefer said. “At that point we saw a man on the ground on fire.” 

Himmighoefer said her instincts kicked in and she ran over to the man and started putting out the fire with her bare hands.

“I wasn’t really thinking,” Himmighoefer said. “I was thinking this guy’s on fire and I wanted to make sure he was okay. I didn’t want any of the houses to catch on fire.”

Another good samaritan started extinguishing the flames with water

“His stomach was in flames and down his legs near his shoes,” Himmighoefer said.

ABC6 News reached out to the Cumberland Fire Chief who said a man in his 60s was trying to add gasoline to a wood fire he was trying to make in his backyard and accidentally set himself on fire.

Cumberland Fire Chief Nicholas Anderon said  the man was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, suffering severe burns to both legs and is in serious condition.

“It could’ve been more damage and I hope he’s going to be okay,” Himmighoefer said.

Himmighoefer was taken to the hospital and treated for second degree burns on her fingers but she said she has no regrets.

“I’m doing better, better shape than I should have been but I would’ve done it again,” Himmighoefer said.

The fire chief also warns people to not use flammable liquids to accelerate a fire. 

While outdoor fire pits are allowed in Cumberland, the chief says this was not a fire pit. 

The Fire Marshal’s Office and Cumberland Police were called but no charges are being filed

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