Crowd cheers as man burns

LOS ANGELES TIMESNovember 6, 2013 

Festival-goers can be seen on a video dancing to electronic music as a man becomes engulfed in flames during West Hollywood’s annual Halloween carnival.

Gilbert Estrada, 51, later died. The video posted on YouTube shows him lying unresponsive after the fire was extinguished. Detectives say it appears Estrada may have accidentally started the fire while trying to light a cigarette.

As Estrada flails, some bystanders can be heard cheering. Others help put out the flames. One bystander recorded the scene with a cellphone camera and posted it on the video website.

Festival-goer Derek Easley said Estrada came out of nowhere, fully engulfed in flames “like a torch.” They threw him to the ground to smother the blaze.

“So many people were drunk and partying,” he said. “People were chanting, clapping, filming and taking pictures like it was some kind of cool, funny thing and not realizing it was a guy who was suffering in a really bad condition.”

As revelers took out cellphones and crowded around, Easley said he helped form a perimeter around the man until the police arrived.

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