Firefighter risks life running 100m with burning gas cylinder

Dubbed “the man who held fire in his arms” online, 32-year-old firefighter Liu Longxi risked his life carrying a burning cylinder which could have exploded at any time.

Video has emerged showing a firefighter from Xincheng Fire Brigade risking his life carrying a burning gas cylinder 100 meters before throwing it in a pond.

As the burning and sizzling gas cylinder could have exploded at any time, firefighters decided to lift it outside the wood shed where it was located, with 32-year-old firefighter Liu Longxi running to throw it in a pond nearby.

The drama took place on an early evening at the end of last month in Pengzhao Village, Malu Town, Jiading District, leading Liu to be dubbed “the man who held fire in his arms” on the internet.

Residents alarmed the Xincheng Fire Brigade at about 6pm reporting that a granny had inadvertently ignited a gas cylinder in her house while cooking, and that fire had devoured the whole wood shed.

The blaze had been burning for half an hour after villagers tried in vain to dowse the flames and, to make matters worse, firefighters rushing to the scene found they couldn’t enter the village due to vehicle height restrictions.

The firefighters entered the scene on foot at about 6:17pm, and soon discovered the extent of what was a dire situation. Villagers had thrown a cotton quilt and a steel panel on the cylinder, meaning it could explode any time due to partial expansion.

Villagers watching the fire were told to evacuate the area when Liu, an experienced firefighter, was entrusted with the mission of taking the cylinder out of the shed and throwing it into a pond nearby.

“I had fear, but that would never be an excuse for me to avoid my duty,” Liu recalled, adding that it’s the norm for firefighters to remove dangerous objects in this manner.

Liu said it was not the first time he had done so.

“In a similar fire case previously, I dashed into the fire under shower of my colleagues’ impulse water guns to take a gas cylinder out and then ran towards a river,” he said. “I felt quite nervous.”

After running about 40 seconds with a colleague and a villager behind him who pointed the way, Liu reached the pond and threw the cylinder into it.

After about 20 minutes, the cylinder was fished out of the water.

No one was hurt in the incident, the fire brigade said.


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