Civilians Attempt Saving Man In Burning Car

Apr. 22 (BCN) At least three residents at a Concord apartment complex attempted to save a man inside a burning car parked in the building's lot before firefighters arrived on the scene, according to authorities.

The fire at Valley Crest Drive and Ayers Road was reported at around 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to Contra Costa County Fire Inspector Kaeli Lepkowsky.

At the same time that the fire was being reported by residents, Lepkowsky said the victim's wife called Walnut Creek police to report that her husband was missing and possibly upset.

Meanwhile, Lepkowsky said three residents grabbed fire extinguishers and attempted to save the victim, who does not live in the building.

Lepkowsky said that, as a fire inspector, it was comforting to her to know that residents are aware of the fire extinguishers and are willing to use them to help others.

The man, who was born in 1942, did suffer significant injuries, and was transported to Doctors Medical Center after firefighters arrived on the scene, Lepkowsky said. He has so far been unable to speak with investigators, she said.

According to Lepkowsky, the fire in the 1995 BMW appears to have been set intentionally, and it is being investigated as a possible attempted suicide.

Lepkowsky said there is likely no crime associated with the incident unless the man was not the owner of the BMW.

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Last Updated: Apr 22, 2004