Mike Price learned how to operate a fire extinguisher years ago.
He just never thought the first time he would it would be to help a man on fire.
But that’s what the Egg Harbor Township man did Friday, after a Mays Landing motorcyclist crashed after losing control on the Black Horse Pike S curve in West Atlantic City.
Price was in the living room with his windows open when he heard the crash at about 3:45 p.m. Friday, he said.
At first, he thought it was a car crash.
He looked up to see heavy black smoke.
Price grabbed his fire extinguisher, thinking maybe it was fire under the car’s hood.
But when he got outside, people were shouting, “The man’s on fire!”
Robert Bostic, 46, was on the ground, his pants on fire, Price said.
“He said, ‘Put the fire out on me,’” Price recalled.
So he quickly extinguished the flames.
About 20 feet away, the bike was still burning. Worried that the choking smoke might pose another threat to Bostic, Price helped move him about five or 10 feet farther.
“There were people everywhere and traffic everywhere,” Price said. “Some cars were trying to speed through the smoke and flames. It was a terrible situation.”
The police and firefighters had to come down the opposite lane to get to the scene, he said.
But they were able to get there and the medevac landed perfectly to take Bostic to the hospital.
Bostic’s wife was able to reach out to Price on Sunday to thank him for his quick action.
“I’m not a hero,” said the Pleasantville High School truancy officer. “The real heroes are police, firefighters and EMS who do this every day. But we are all citizens and first responders in some way.
“Sometimes we need to take immediate action before help arrives, and that’s what I did,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bostic is improving, his family said. He had third-degree burns on his legs and arms.
Price, who is on the Egg Harbor Township Board of Education, said he’s seen quite a few crashes living on the curve.
He was glad to be able to help, and says everyone should make sure to have at least one working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
“I was amazed at how well it worked,” he said. “Everyone should know how to use one. You never know when you can help someone.”