Teen prevented 'fire protest' tragedy

Published Thursday, 01 May 2014
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An 18-year-old man has told UTV he acted on instinct to stop a man from setting himself on fire outside Belfast City Hall.

Teen prevented 'fire protest' tragedy
The man tried to set himself on fire at Belfast City Hall. (© YouTube)

Paul Russell witnessed the distressed man lighting a small fire on the pavement on Wednesday evening, before dousing himself in what was believed to be a flammable liquid.

A crowd of young people had gathered to watch, not fully realising what was happening.

The man shouted to them and appeared to be trying to make some form of protest.

But as he headed towards the flames, Paul intervened - pushing him to the ground and holding him there with the help of other passers-by.

"I just did what anyone else would have done," he said, adding that some of the liquid had gone over him and other bystanders.

"Probably a few more people would have got burned, although he would have got the worst of it."

Police and paramedics were called to the scene of the incident, where a man in his 30s was detained under the Mental Health Act.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Belfast in Belfast wrote (271 days ago):
It just goes to show that there are still some decent human beings in NI. He may not know it yet, but that young fella saved that ill mans life. Well done young Paul. Your a good soul!!
well done paul in belfast wrote (271 days ago):
well done paul, you saved this man from serious harm.
Bee in Bangor wrote (272 days ago):
Well done , such a brave and caring young man . Hope the guy gets the help he needs now .
Manchester in Manchester wrote (272 days ago):
Well done boyo!
anon in belfast wrote (272 days ago):
There are heros and work among us, yes you did good in saving that person, but is how come nobody recognises the lives that and paramedics, police and firebrigade save on a daily basis.
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