Paul Anderson pushed his friend, Quinn Jones, on to the ground and put out the flames with grass and his bare hands after the incident in Saltash, east Cornwall.
Quinn's mother, Sylvia, was at her son's bedside at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, yesterday where he is being treated for 30 per cent burns to his head, face, chest and arms. A hospital spokesman that Quinn, a pupil at Saltash Community College, was "poorly but stable" in the intensive care unit.
His stepfather, Philip Wootton, yesterday paid tribute to Paul saying: "If it was not for him the boy would have died, he was well on fire. The burns are going to require a lot of skin grafts. Not many patches of his skin are not burnt."
But Paul, a pupil at Brunel County Primary School, Saltash - where he has taken two first aid courses - said: "I just think I did the right thing. I put green grass on his legs because I knew it would not light, and quickly patted out the other flames with my hands.It all took about 60 seconds."
Darren Gibson, spokesman for West Country ambulance service, said Paul's quick action saved Quinn from more severe burns and added: "It must have been very frightening, but he did exactly the right thing."Reuse content