A woman from Hull is recovering from serious burns after a barbeque exploded and set her dress on fire.
Hayley Hassard, aged 45, suffered burns to her legs, her behind and back in the incident which happened at an event in Cottingham near Hull on July 21st.
But Hayley, a mum of two children, believes she was saved from worse injuries thanks to the quick-thinking and first aid skills of a family friend Angie Hall who “rugby tackled” her to the ground to put out the flames.
Hayley, who was attending the family event with her father, husband and two sons, said: “Angie probably saved my life and certainly saved me from much more severe burns. If she hadn’t been there I don’t know what would have happened.”
Hayley, who lives in the West Hull area, had been standing at the barbeque ordering beef burgers for her family when she saw flames shoot up from the coals and urged Angie, who was nearby, to move away.
Hayley said: “Suddenly, there was an explosion and I looked down and realised my dress was on fire. I tried to put it out but couldn’t. The next thing I knew I was being rugby tackled to the ground by Angie who just rolled me over and over until the flames went out.”
Hayley’s dad Terry Gosnell said: “There was just this big bang, flames shot out from the barbeque and Hayley was on fire. She started running but somehow Angie rushed over, got her to the ground and rolled her for twenty yards or so to put the flames out. No one else knew what to do, she’s an absolute hero.”
Hayley’s husband Craig and sons Jack, aged 11, and Sam, aged 8, were on the other side of the field when they saw she was on fire.
Hayley said: “Although they’ve been so upset by my injuries, I am just thankful they weren’t standing next to me. I dread to think what might have happened. I am glad it was me that got hurt, not the boys.”
Hayley believes the explosion may have been caused when fuel was added to the barbeque. She is now urging everyone to be aware of the dangers of barbeques and to get a first aid qualification.
Angie Hall, aged 53, says her quick-thinking was the result of the training in fire and first aid she’s received as part of her job in a care home: “There was this enormous bang and then someone shouted ‘Hayley’s on fire’. Hayley was just this fireball and she was trying to put out her dress.
“I just pushed her to the ground and started rolling her. At one point I stopped and she ignited again so I kept on rolling. When the paramedic came he couldn’t believe I’d had to roll her for half a rugby pitch.
“I screamed for somebody to get an ambulance and some cold water. I just kept pouring water on her. Then I soaked my coat and laid it on her, then someone brought tea towels.
“When she started to shake I put dry clothes round the top and bottom of her body to stop her going into shock.
“To be honest I think I was on auto-pilot. It was just the training from my job that kicked in.
“Afterwards, I didn’t sleep for two days and then on the third day I had a good cry.
“I don’t think I’m a hero I just did what I am trained to do.”
Hayley Hassard now faces several weeks off work as she recovers. As a result, she has consulted Neil Hudgell Solicitors about the possibility of claiming compensation for her injuries.
Personal Injury specialist Becci Snow, who is handling Mrs Hassard’s case, said: “This case is at an early stage but clearly Mrs Hassard and her family have suffered considerably as a result of this incident. We will be looking at all the possibilities open to Mrs Hassard to compensate her for her injuries, inconvenience and possible loss of earnings.”