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Woman throws bucket of water on man on fire

Posted at 11:11 AM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 11:11:12-05

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KRON/CNN) - A woman heading to work Tuesday morning made a grim discovery: A man engulfed in flames.

“The witness was walking down the alley and saw smoke,” said Lt. Rachel Murphy with the San Francisco Police Department.

It happened at Osage and 24th Street in San Francisco, CA, a few steps away from the 24th Street BART station.

Witnesses say a man was spotted sleeping in the alley and shortly after, the same man was seen covered in flames.

When the woman saw that, she sprang into action.

“She ran back down the alley into one of the cafes and got a bucket of water,” Murphy explained. “She ran back and threw water on the person who was on fire.”

Murphy said that kept the man from being burned alive.

“It was absolutely heroic. Absolutely,” Murphy said.

Investigators say the cause of the fire is somewhat of a mystery.

“At this point, it’s an ongoing investigation. It’s unknown if it was self-inflicted, if it was accidental or if there were suspects involved,” Murphy explained.

The fire victim was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Investigators say they are following up with several witnesses and checking surveillance cameras in the area, looking for any clues to how the fire started.

Copyright 2018 KRON via CNN. All rights reserved.