Published: Nov 15, 2010 6:02 AM EST
Updated: Nov 15, 2010 3:02 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Family members of the man critically injured in a gas line explosion says he pulled himself out of the fire that has covered half of his body in burns.

Mario Santos was operating a backhoe when he ruptured a gas line Thursday.

Santos remains in critical condition in a Tamps hospital, but his family says contrary to previous reports - Santos pulled himself out of the flames before telling other workers to call 911.

"He rolled over the dirt that was there to take the fire off him, he got up, he walked towards the people... The supervisors and workers that were over there were looking at him and he goes 'what happened'?. There's fire, call the ambulance - call the police," said Dolly Rua, Santos' sister-in-law.

The 26-year old had been working for Posen construction for 3 years before the blast.

Family members now are looking to set up a donation account, hoping the southwest Florida community will help them cover costs of driving to and from Tampa on a daily basis.