An Armonk, NY man was severely injured Thursday in Connecticut car fire.
Fairfield police said Friday that Justin Hervey, a 23-year-old Armonk resident, remains in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital.
and continue to investigate. Hervey is a part-time student and police believe he had been living on campus for the school year.
According to the report, Hervey was in a blue Chevy Tahoe parked near Thursday when the SUV became engulfed in flames. A group of middle and elementary school children on a youth baseball team, their parents, and coaches were at the park when the incident occurred.
Witnesses told police they heard a small pop and looked over to see the Tahoe was in flames. Hervey then ran out of the car toward the group in the park, police said.
Parents and coaches told the man to drop to the ground to put out the flames. When he did not stop, a coach and a parent reportedly brought him to the ground and attempted to quell the blaze with blankets, Fairfield police spokesperson Sgt. Sue Lussier said Friday.
Police and fire officials responded to the scene as witnesses were trying to help Hervey. Responders divided into two teams, according to a release from Fairfield Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bisson -- one team began extinguishing the car fire while another treated Hervey until an ambulance arrived to transport him to the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital.
“The actions of the civilians that helped the burn victim with his injuries were heroic and should be applauded as they risked their personal safety to help another person in need," Bisson said.
The cause of the suspected explosion remains under investigation by the police department's arson investigators and the town's fire marshal. Police said Friday they believe the fire originated from the interior of the vehicle.
Police have also reached out to various agencies in Fairfield in an effort to provide support and counseling to the witnesses of the event, which include children between the ages of 10 and 12. Parks and Recreation Director Gerry Lombardo and Superintendent of School Dr. David Title were informed of the incident Thursday so that teachers and staff at Fairfield's schools could prepare for counseling.
“Due to the traumatic nature of the incident that many young players witnessed, the parents of the children and the school system have been advised of the situation so that counselors will be available for anyone requesting assistance,” Bisson said in the fire department's release.