A local resident is being hailed a hero—credited for possibly saving a life.
First responders are investigating a structure and vehicle fire that left a man with several burns.
Just before 8:00 p.m., crews received multiple calls for a medical emergency off Olive Street and Haley Street.
That was quickly upgraded to a vehicle fire once units arrived. There they found a Jeep fully engulfed in flames, which had spread to an awning at Mastercraft Motors auto body shop.
Loud noises, screaming, a fiery explosion and a man on fire—that’s what Carlos Corona saw and heard before springing into action.
Corona was in the front portion of his house. The victim was doing mechanic work across the street when Corona heard a loud noise and came outside to see what was going on, he said.
“He saw the guy was screaming, yelling for help and crying. His whole body was on fire. He helped him get his shirt off and started hosing him down with water and then another explosion came out once he was already out of there," said Corona, translated by his nephew.
According to a Fire Inspector Investigator with the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department, the victim suffered second-degree burns to his arms, hands, upper torso and face.
Jim Austin says the man was flown south to a burn center for treatment with critical injuries.
The vehicle is a complete loss. The framework was towed away just before 11:00 p.m.
Damage to the business is estimated to be about 20,000 dollars.
The victim is said to be the owner of the Jeep that caught on fire. The victim himself also works at Mastercraft Motors auto body shop.
The fire originated in the rear of the vehicle. The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.