The UK's fastest growing regional news website
17°C | 8°C
16°C | 8°C
16°C | 8°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Maidstone News Article
Good samaritan John Davis-Ashdown battled against 15ft flames to try to save 30-year-old James Spencer in Mote Park
The 48-year-old believes former Maidstone Grammar School pupil Mr Spencer might have deliberately taken his own life.
He died in hospital the day after the tragedy last Wednesday.
Mr Davis-Ashdown was walking with his sister near the playground at 4.30pm when they heard a "swoosh" sound about 300 feet away.
They at first thought someone had lit a bonfire, but then realised there was someone in the middle of the inferno. He ran to Mr Spencer's aid and tried to wrap him in his jacket.
Mr Davis-Ashdown said: "It's something that I am never going to forget for as long as I live. What happened is absolutely horrific. Nearby there was an empty petrol can.
"Despite the fact he must have been in considerable pain he was just lying there and didn't make a lot of noise.
"After the fire was out I tried to speak to him. He was still conscious and told me his name and age but his voice gradually became weaker.
"I told him to stay awake, we could hear the sirens coming, but he was drifting away.
"While I was trying to save his life there were at least half a dozen people in the surrounding area who did nothing to try and help. That makes me so angry."
Although he was the only person who battled the flames, two schoolboys aged 12 and 13 also gave their support - with one offering a shirt.
Teisha Maytum and Debbie King, who both work in the Cafe at the Park, also tried to lend a hand by fetching jugs of water, but by the time they returned the fire was out.
"I'm not comfortable with being called a hero, nor being called brave..." - John Davis-Ashdown
Despite his efforts, Mr Davis-Ashdown insists he is not a hero. "I'm not comfortable with being called a hero, nor being called brave," he said.
"Perhaps if I had saved the poor man it would be different, but someone has lost their life. It's not about me.
"There's no words to describe what happened. My thoughts and prayers are very much with his family."
Mr Spencer died in Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital the day after the fire, having initially been taken to King's College Hospital in London.
Click here for more news from Maidstone.
Click here for more news from around the county.