A MAN  in Fearnhead was rushed to hospital with burns after paramedics were called to reports he set himself on fire while having a barbecue.

Aged in his 50s, the man was treated at the scene on Montrose Close, before being taken to Whiston Hospital where staff had been put on alert.

Neighbours say they called 999 after witnessing the victim ablaze at the front of the property.

He has been named locally as Colin Evans. It is believed he is still in hospital being treated.

Ambulance crews say they were called to the incident at 22.09pm on Tuesday, last week.

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said: “A man was taken to Whiston Hospital via ambulance.

“Police were called and Cheshire Fire informed.

“We treated the male, in his 50s, for burns, and the hospital was informed.”

Hospital staff are usually given advanced notice of a patient’s arrival if the injuries are serious, although it can also happen when they are particularly busy.

Police have now confirmed Mr Evans was having a barbecue at the time of the incident, and say he used an 'accelerant'. 

Mike Burns, who also lives on Montrose Close, said two others residents rushed to his aid.

The men helped put out the fire, and wrapped a blanket around the victim to extinguish the flames.

Mr Burns said: “You could see the guy was on fire at the front of the house.

“Police told us he had been burning rubbish in his garden.

“The man who lives next door went to help him and put the fire out, and burnt his arms doing it.

“I think Mark and Leon both deserve some recognition for helping him.

“I think they saved his life.”