Hero pair stop suicidal man blowing up petrol station by setting fire to himself
A SUICIDAL man who ran into a petrol station and doused himself in petrol was stopped from setting himself on fire by men from a nearby car wash who risked their safety to wrestle a lighter from his hands, it was reported today.
The depressed man, believed to be a 45-year-old construction worker from Clevedon, Somerset, ran into the petrol station in Hartcliffe Way, Bristol, and doused himself in fuel on the forecourt in front of stunned customers.
Before he could set fire to himself, risking blowing up the petrol station, two men from the neighbouring Shine On car wash tackled him and held on to him until the police arrived, the Bristol Evening Post reported.
Car wash owner and father-of-four Tim Hysa, 40, a former champion boxer in Albania, and his 26-year-old nephew Ismet Lela, knocked the man to the ground and took the lighter from him after trying to talk him round.
Mr Lela told the paper: "The woman working in the petrol station came out and was quite distressed. I went over to the guy and tried to calm him down.
"I said, 'I'm trying to help you mate, we've all got problems but we can work them out'. He was crying and crying but he let me get close to him and calm him down.
"I was chatting to him for about 10 minutes and said I would try to help him. He kept flicking his lighter and then he looked as if he was about to set his clothes on fire."
At that point they sprang into action and with the help of another colleague, Eljon Kukaj, held him until the police and ambulance arrived.
My Hysa, who has lived in Bristol for seven years, said he felt sorry for the man afterwards.
Headley Park beat manager Pc Jerry Hilliar, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The man was detained shortly afterwards by the police and received treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary for minor skin and eye irritation due to the petrol, and mental health assessment.
"Several hours after the incident, he stated he had felt very depressed and wanted to take his own life.
"He wished to thank the chaps from Shine On that had intervened. The man described losing a relative several years ago.
"As the beat manager for Hartcliffe Way I will ensure the boss and employees at the car valeting centre receive a much-deserved community commendation."