Former Highlanders loose forward Hale T-Pole is
''extremely proud'' of the more than 50 club rugby players who
helped a badly burnt Port Chalmers man on Thursday.
Harbour Rugby Football Club premiers, seniors and colts
players were training next door to the Albertson Ave house in
Port Chalmers when a station wagon caught fire while a
22-year-old Port Chalmers man was changing a fuel pump.
Mr T-Pole said he heard loud screams and started running
towards the ''big fire'' in the back yard of the neighbouring
The man had burns to his arm and superficial burns to his
face and leg and was in extreme pain.
''I was in the shower with the burning kid and the sister.''
He put a chair in the shower for the man to sit on and the
''shaking'' sister held her brother in the shower.
''The kid was burning and sat down while we showered his face
to keep him cool and calm him down.''
The man was screaming, he said.
Mr T-Pole said he went outside and more than 50 rugby players
were in the backyard.
Players were jumping over fences to get hoses from neighbours
and other players were taking containers of flammable liquids
away from the blaze.
A teenage colts player consoled the man's distressed mother,
''It makes me proud of the club. No-one there was in charge
and yelling; everyone just reacted.
''It was awesome to see.''
When the players retrieved enough hoses to reach from the tap
to the station wagon, there was no way to connect the hoses
so the team created a chain and held the hoses together
The quick reaction to douse the flames ensured the fire did
not spread, he said.
Port Chalmers Station Officer Glenn Holland said the Port
Chalmers man was changing a fuel pump on his Ford Falcon
station wagon when it caught fire about 6.20pm.
A St John spokesman said the 22-year-old man was taken to
Dunedin Hospital with serious burns to his arm and
superficial burns to his face and leg.
A Dunedin Hospital spokeswoman said the man was in Dunedin
Hospital yesterday and his condition was not serious.