A YOUNG boy is still fighting for his life after he was dragged from a blazing car in a village near Winchester.
The five-year-old remains in a life-threatening condition in hospital, while his mother and six-year-old sister are being treated for serious burns.
They were saved from the fireball by Alan Beusmans (pictured below) and his son William, who have been hailed heroes after they risked their lives to save the young family.
They put their lives on the line to rescue the 37-year-old mum and her two children from Southampton after their Ford Fiesta became engulfed in flames on a remote country road.
Last night details of what caused the fire remained a mystery.
Hampshire Constabulary were tight-lipped over the type of investigation taking place, while Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service would only say that a joint investigation is is being held with the police.
Police declined to say where the young family had been or where they were heading when the incident happened.
They were also unable to comment of the whereabouts of the children’s father.
A spokesman would only say that the next of kin has been informed.
Yesterday the quiet, close-knit community of Hursley village, near Romsey, was coming to terms with the horrifying incident, which happened in Merdon Castle Lane on Monday evening.
And sections of the community have hailed the father-and-son duo as heroes.
Mr Beusmans, a 64-year-old grandfather of three, told the Daily Echo he and his son were the first on the scene and described the traumatic events that unfolded as they embarked on a fishing trip.
He said he saw the woman and her young girl standing by the side of the car as it was well ablaze with the young boy inside.
“We thought we’d run to assist the lady, who had flames coming up around her legs”, Mr Beusmans said.
“She was pointing towards the car and that’s when I saw the other kid.
“I went over to the car and managed to get the door open – the boy was pressed up against the window.
“I burnt my hand opening it and the boy fell out of the car, and I managed to get him over to the other side.
“They were very distressed and I was shocked at what I saw but I managed to get myself together.”
As reported, the boy was airlifted to hospital in a life-threatening condition and police described the condition of the woman and girl as “serious”.
A police road block remained in place on a large section of Merdon Castle Lane throughout yesterday as officers carried out a thorough investigation.
Meanwhile the incident has left the village of Hursley in shock.
Lucy Richmond, landlady of the Kings Head pub, said: “All the locals are shocked and can’t believe this could happen or how it’s happened.”
Frankie Hale, 19, and Daniel Cheater, 27, from Hursley High Class Butchers, were stunned by the news.
Frankie, a friend of Will Beusmans, said their actions were brave and heroic.
He said: “It was definitely a brave thing to do and he was pretty upset when I spoke to him.”
A bar worker from the nearby Dolphin pub, who did not want to be named, said: “We just feel so sorry for the children.
“You don’t expect it so close to home.
“Police were going up and down the road but we didn’t know what was going on. We thought there had been an accident on the motorway.”
Another witness, who asked not to be named described hearing explosions before arriving at the scene soon after.
He said: “You don’t expect to see something like this on a country lane.
“I am a part-time gamekeeper and was thinking about having an early night. I was driving my car and then saw what was happening round the corner.
“I heard two explosions which may have been the tyres bursting.
“I stopped the cars coming up and directed them away.
“It’s something you are not used to seeing. It’s a quiet country lane.”
Another witness described Mr Beusmans, who has been head gardener at the picturesque Morden House for 40 years, as a “legend” for his act of bravery.
However Mr Beusmans played down his role in rescuing the child.
He added: “I will always have the pictures of this in my head.
They say it takes a long time to get over something like this.
“Anyone would do this, I had to do it. You couldn’t just leave them there.
“I wouldn’t agree that I am a hero.
“I am pleased I went by at that time otherwise the poor lad might have died.
“I am proud of my son William too, he hasn’t got any sleep since either.
“I have seen a few accidents in my time here but this is the worst thing to have happened by far.
“I’m hopeful they will pull through.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Hampshire Major Incident team quoting Operation Ursa by calling 101.