One Direction’s Liam Payne has been hailed a hero by the friend he rescued from his burning apartment.
Liam’s pal Andy Samuel was filling up a heating lamp tank with fuel when flames exploded on the balcony of pop star’s $3 million East London penthouse. The freak accident reportedly injured three people.
Andy, a 21-year-old model and entrepreneur, is now speaking out for the first time, revealing how Liam pulled him out of harm’s way with his bare hands.
“I can still see Liam trying to put out the flames with his hands. I was set completely on fire – terror is the only word fit to describe what I was feeling. The pain and the panic I felt is ¬something no one should have to go through,” Andy told UK newspaper The Mirror.
Andy suffered second and third degree burns and has had seven skin grafts to repair the damage. He said the images of that night, when they were celebrating Liam’s 20th birthday, still haunt him.
“I was running around trying to get enough water. I tore one of his taps off the wall in such a blind panic and eventually threw myself in his shower,” he recalled.
“I looked at my arm at one point and my skin was destroyed and hanging off, it was like a cheese string. I don’t remember much except thinking my life was over. It would have broken me to see my best friend like that.”
Liam has kept fans updated with Andy’s recovery, dubbing him “the invincible man” on Twitter.
Andy said healing without his family and friends by his side would have been unfathomable.
“Having your best friend there for you like Liam has made this so much easier,” he said.
“His support has been incredible and we’re in contact pretty much constantly every day, even though he’s in Australia at the moment… I’ve had some really low moments, lying in hospital, too scared to even look at myself in the mirror to see the damage but Liam and my family and girlfriend were there to talk me round.
“I couldn’t have done it without them and the ¬incredible nurses at Broomfield Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Burns Unit.”
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