A mother desperately tried to use her headscarf to put out flames engulfing her son from head to foot in a Bradford street, an inquest has heard.
Mohammed Ali, who was 33 and had mental health issues, suffered 90 per cent burns to his body and died at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, on January 26 last year – a day after he had set himself on fire at his home in Newport Place, Manningham.
The court heard a witness account from Mr Ali’s neighbour, Noreen Gulraz, who called the ambulance.
The first she knew was when her younger brother, who had been reading the Qur’an in their front room, spotted Mr Ali out of the window on fire.
In a statement read to the hearing, she said: “He said ‘there’s a man burning’. I thought he was joking but when I went to the window and moved back the net curtains I could see a person completely on fire from head to foot – I could not believe what I saw.
“I went out and there were other people in the street – it was the family from a house nearby. His wife, his children and family were all there and his mother was trying to put the flames out with her headscarf. Someone got a blanket and put it round him.
“I was shocked because he was really calm. He kept saying’ I’m fine, I’m fine, leave me alone’. He was saying ‘I’m thirsty’ and people were giving him water from a bucket. He was talking in Punjabi and his brother was hugging him.
“He just sat in the road as if he was exhausted then the ambulance came and he just got up and walked to it.”
Mr Ali was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary’s A&E department but he was transferred on the evening of January 25 last year, sedated and put on life support at a specialist unit at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.
The inquest was told his burns were so severe that his vital organs were affected, making his prognosis inevitably lethal. He died the next day.
Bradford Coroner Peter Straker adjourned yesterday’s inquest so he could call witnesses to give evidence.
He had been told Mr Ali had used either paraffin or white spirit to set fire to himself and that he had also tried to harm himself a few days earlier.