A WOMAN is seriously ill in hospital after setting fire to herself in a park.
She suffered 45 per cent burns and is now being treated at a specialist unit in Manchester after the early morning incident at Alkincoats Park in Colne.
Dog walker Daryl Wright, 52, has been praised for saving the woman’s life after he rushed to her aid and put out the flames by rolling her along the ground.
Police said the 45-year-old suffered second degree burns to her body including her arms, legs and torso.
Mr Wright leapt into action and risked his own safety to put out the fire and call for help.
The brewery worker was taking his dogs for a walk at around 7.30am on Saturday morning when he heard what he described as a ‘crackling, whooshing noise’.
He turned round to see the woman, who was wearing a white coat, hidden amongst trees near the lodge at the south end of the park.
She had set herself alight using flammable liquid, believed to be lighter fluid, and Mr Wright said it was pure instinct to run over and try to save her.
He said: “It was strange because it was still quite dark and there was hardly anyone around.
“She was alight on her knees so I pushed her to the floor and got her to roll until the flames went out.
“As I was busy with the woman I shouted for another passer-by to ring the ambulance.
“After five or six minutes the police arrived and then the ambulance and fire brigade from Colne. She looked in a pretty serious condition, pretty poorly.”
The woman, who is from Colne, was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital and then transferred to Royal Preston Hospital, before being moved to the specialist Burns Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital in south Manchester, where she is being treated for her injuries.
She was described as being in a ‘stable’ condition in hospital last night.
Mr Wright, of Alkincoats Road, played down any suggestions that his actions were heroic.
He said: “I would have hope that anyone would have done the same for me in that situation.
“It’s not something I ever want to see, or be involved in again.”
Inspector Viki Crorken confirmed that the incident had taken place but said no criminal investigation had been launched.
She added that Mr Wright, who did not require hospital treatment for his minor burns, was ‘to be commended for his bravery’.
She said: “The witness in this case has saved her life. If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking actions of this man the victim could have suffered a lot worse injuries and possibly died. He did really well.
“The victim was a local lady with self-inflicted burns. Hopefully she will make a full recovery.”