Published Thursday, 01 May 2014
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