Man set alight from car fire on Albury farm

A farmer is in a critical condition after he was set alight by a fire which started from his own vehicle.

The 69-year-old had been working at his Willowbank Road property in Albury on Saturday when the incident occurred about 7.30pm.

Albury Inspector Winston Woodward said police believed the man had driven out of the gate from his property and got out of the car to close the gate again.

When he returned to his ute to continue driving, the grass around the vehicle caught fire.

“It appears the male, who was only wearing shoes and shorts, has attempted to extinguish the fire by standing on it,” Inspector Winston Woodward said.

“At this time a witness drove past and saw that the male’s shoes were now also alight.

“The male was quickly overcome by the fire and he collapsed beside his vehicle.”

Police and other emergency were quickly on the scene.

“At this time it is possible the fire was ignited through the heat being emitted from the exhaust of the victim's vehicle,” Inspector Winston Woodward said.  

“The male has extensive burns to his body and has been transported to Melbourne for treatment.  

“He remains in a critical condition.”

Fire and Rescue NSW Inspector Stewart Alexander said fire crews were only needed at the incident for about 20 minutes to quickly put out the small fire and assist paramedics with the victim.

He said the grassfire was not a threat to spread across the property.

Heat from a vehicle’s exhaust pipe was a cause of fire that Mr Alexander had seen before.

“Any sort of hot surface is a threat,” he said.

“It is absolutely a possibility, people need to be careful in grasslands … They need to exercise caution, particularly when there’s conditions where we haven’t had rain in a while.”