Four people were on fire and screaming as they escaped from a burning vehicle in Brooklands Saturday night.
Cal Dahlin, a resident of Gallagher Avenue West, was at his kitchen sink getting a glass of water when he looked outside and saw a truck drive slowly past with a fire in the interior where four people were seated.
"They were on fire," Dahlin said Sunday as he looked toward the spot on the street where the truck came to a stop.
"Two were covered in flames and running while one was over there in the grass, screaming. One was in the vehicle, screaming he was stuck. It happened after they tried to set off a firework in their truck.
"One had his whole back and front on fire."
Dahlin said from his vantage point, the occupants appeared to be two men and two women.
Another resident, Kaylah Barnett, said she realized something was happening outside her house just after 11 p.m. when "I heard a bunch of screams."
"I looked out my window and I saw the guy screaming he’s on fire and needs water," she said. "I called 911 and someone came out with a fire extinguisher, but that didn’t help.
"He stripped off all his clothes, but he was still on fire. I don’t know why the fire went up so fast. The whole vehicle was engulfed in flames.
"It was quite a terrifying thing to see. I think they tried to hit the fire hydrant to get water. It (the vehicle) had started on fire down the back lane before it stopped there."
Emergency crews responded to the fire at Gallagher and Midmar Avenue.
The four people, all badly burned, were taken to the Health Sciences Centre.
On Sunday afternoon, the vehicle had been towed away, but there were still signs of the fire. The tree branches and leaves above were scorched, while a large black stain and broken glass were on the road.
Blue gloves used by emergency workers were discarded within metres of the site.
Winnipeg police spokesman Const. Rob Carver said he couldn’t release much information about the collision, including what sparked the fire.
Noting that the major crimes unit is investigating, Carver said "there are obviously complexities to this case.
"It goes without saying this isn’t just a motor vehicle collision investigation."
Carver said the collision wasn’t the end result of a police chase. "Police were not involved before the 911 call."
Carver said he wouldn’t release the genders of the four people who were injured, but their ages ranged from 17 to 35 years.