How Liam Payne saved my life: Brave One Direction star beat out flames with hands after freak accident

Liam Payne’s best friend has told how the One Direction star tried to stop a raging fire with his bare hands during a freak accident in his flat.

In his first full interview since last month’s horrific fire, Andy Samuels said he is convinced the singer’s quick-thinking saved his life.

Andy, 21, was rushed to hospital after his whole body caught alight as he tried to fill a patio heater with gas.

He spent a fortnight in hospital ­undergoing SEVEN skin grafts as they treated him for third-degree burns.

Revealing his horrific scars for the first time, Andy said: “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.

"I was the one that was injured, but it was a crazy, horrible experience for Liam to witness as well.”

Andy said his body burned for what seemed like an eternity after the heater exploded in his face on the balcony of Liam’s flat.

Andy revealed: “He was trying to help me but I thought I was going to die.

“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.

“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.”

The fire erupted at Liam’s flat in East London as he was marking his 20th birthday with friends.

It destroyed most of the balcony and it took 35 ­firefighters to put it out. They had to use breathing equipment to battle through the thick smoke.

Liam’s new girlfriend Sophia Smith, 20, was also there and saw her boyfriend’s heroics.

Andy says: “The best thing Liam and Sophia did that night for me was just reassure me and try to keep me calm until the ambulance arrived.

“I was in such a panic. I was also worried I’d burned the building down and they kept talking to me to keep me conscious.”

Andy, from Liam’s home town of Wolverhampton, was rushed to Royal London Hospital with 20 per cent burns all over his body and doctors spent an entire day operating on him, his worried family unsure if he was going to survive.

He said: “I had seven skin grafts where I had third-degree burns and no skin left.

"They took skin from my thigh so I have three grafts on my left arm, three on my chest and one on my right ankle.

“My week in the intensive care unit is a blur. I looked so bad my family didn’t think I’d ever look like me again.”

Liam was a constant ­presence at Andy’s bedside after his transferral by helicopter to Broomfield Hospital in Essex.

T-shirt entrepreneur and part-time model Andy said: “My mum and my ­girlfriend were by my side 24/7 – they’ve been incredible.

"The support of Liam and my other best friend Jordan has been amazing as well.

“I was pretty out of it on pain medication but I remember coming to one day and just blurting out, ‘I need a McDonald’s!’

"Next thing I know Liam had got his security to rush one to my bedside.

“If I was conscious he would just chat with me and try to keep my spirits up.”

Andy’s speedy recovery has impressed doctors.

Just two weeks after the ­accident he was allowed to go home to Wolverhampton and one month on the superficial scarring on his face has almost healed.

Within two years the second-degree burns on his body should have completely disappeared.

Despite his upbeat ­attitude, Andy described the psychological after effects of the blaze as “life changing”.

He said: “I’m incredibly lucky, this could have been so much worse but the ­psychological effects outweigh the physical effects.

"There is medicine for my pain, and my scars will heal but mentally I’m never going to forget what happened.

"I still have dreams and think about it, it still scares me so bad.”

He has been offered support from acid attack victim and charity campaigner Katie Piper.

He said: “Katie can relate to what I’m going through and she was telling me how she dealt with things that she went through. I really respect her.

“With her charity The Katie Piper Foundation I feel like they are doing incredible things.

"I would never want anyone to go through what I went through. The support they give is so important.”

Liam tweeted his 14million followers about Andy’s recovery, hailing him “the invincible man”.

Andy said: “Having your best friend there for you like Liam has made this so much easier.

"His support has been incredible and we’re in contact pretty much constantly every day, even though he’s in Australia at the moment.

“We talk about everything but I’ll update him about my recovery every now and then.

"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.

"I think Liam was affected by what he witnessed but he didn’t talk about that, just about how he knew I would be all right.

"And he was right – four weeks later and I’m still breathing and I’m doing normal things like going ­shopping with my nan.”

  1. cyber-hobbit reblogged this from 5seconds-of-nialler
  2. kissmeimirish242 reblogged this from rippedliam
  3. nouispony reblogged this from elliebearcalder
  4. heartnixll reblogged this from rippedliam
  5. wenkepenke reblogged this from rippedliam
  6. imjustjanedoebitch reblogged this from horansnialls
  7. justsomerandomlarrystuff reblogged this from pocketfullobroseys
  8. horansnialls reblogged this from pocketfullobroseys
  9. pocketfullobroseys reblogged this from stylehemmings
  10. stylehemmings reblogged this from moansharry
  11. alliiinnaaa reblogged this from elliebearcalder
  12. marrystylesford reblogged this from jackycokell
  13. jackycokell reblogged this from zouisno and added:
    OMG!
  14. nicole2coolforu reblogged this from omg1directionpreferences
  15. emoolywench reblogged this from omg1directionpreferences