Brother thanks good Samaritans who tried to save man who fatally set self on fire

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - The brother of a man who died after he set himself on fire is now thanking the people who tried to save his life.

Police identified the victim as 34-year-old Antonio la Todd Courtney, a man so many in the neighborhood remembered fondly.

Detectives said Courtney purchased gas at a station near Northwest 22nd Avenue and 157th Street, doused himself with the fuel and then set himself on fire.

Despite the efforts of good Samaritans, Courtney would not survive.

However, Courtney’s brother is now thanking the efforts of those who stepped in to help.

“I’m happy that the community kicked in to help out. But that just proves that he was a well liked fella, you know what I mean?” said the victim’s brother, T. Courtney. “Nobody wanted to see him go.”

Despite what happened, Courtney’s brother said this was completely unexpected.

“I’m clueless — totally shocked. If you asked everybody who knew him, they’ll tell you they never expected anything like this.”

Among those who tried to help was Rickiya Lewis

“I just pulled up and I saw [him] in a ball of fire and I jumped out. I jumped out my truck. I just wanted to aid him,” Lewis said. “I was in tears. I couldn’t believe it.”

Lewis said people jumped in to help and started pouring milk on Courtney. Milk is often used as a home remedy for burns.

“I even attempted to go buy more milk because the other guys were pouring milk on him to stop the skin from continuously melting off his body,” Lewis said.

Residents have now built a small memorial for Courtney outside of the gas station where he died.

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