Students risked injury to save burned UNC worker

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An electrical fire on campus left UNC worker Gaylan Bishop badly burned.

Two UNC students helped fan the flames off of a university employee burned in an electrical accident at Dey Hall, that caused a campus power outage.

Gaylan Bishop is that UNC employee and now his family is asking for help through a Go Fund Me page.

Read more on the accident here

James Custer and Alek Zhushma are both UNC graduate students studying chemistry. They saw fire outside from a lab window of the building right across Dey Hall and rushed outside.

Custer said when they noticed a man was on fire they rushed to put the flames out themselves.

"As soon as I burned my hands I started using my feet and other parts of my body that were covered up, but I wasn't thinking like 'oh no, I'm hurt,' I was still trying to figure out how to put him out," Custer said.

"Behind us the crowd was crying so they called 911, and I ran in and pulled the fire alarm," Custer said.

Donate to their Go Fund Me Page here

Bishop's family described the seriousness of his injuries on their GoFundMe page:

"He spent several hours in surgery that evening and was then moved to the UNC Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, NC. The doctors estimate that he is burned on over 40% of his body. He remains in ICU in critical condition. If he continues to progress as he has so far, without complications, the burn center estimates that he will be in their unit until at least October."

Custer said he and Zhushma were able to put the flames out and stayed with Bishop until paramedics arrived.

Custer said he and Zhushma felt compelled to help.

"The amount of fire there was the difference in 30 seconds probably would've been life or death," Custer said.

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