SHOCKED firefighters discovered the charred remains of a woman inside a car after putting out the blazing vehicle.
The woman – believed to be aged about 25 – was found dead in a car on Vulcan Road, Tinsley, close to the Supertram line serving Meadowhall shopping centre.
Following the grim discovery on Saturday, at about 4.40pm, recovery workers were asked to tow away the vehicle, still containing the body, to prevent tram passengers from witnessing the scene.
An investigation by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue staff confirmed the fatal blaze had been started deliberately.
A concerned worker said he understood the woman had bought petrol from the nearby Tinsley filling station shortly before the suspected suicide.
The man, who declined to be named, said: “This young woman had gone into the petrol station and got some petrol, and poured it all over herself.
“Then she drove down to near the tram tracks and set fire to the petrol.
“The police arranged for the recovery of the car because of the trams going past – the people travelling by tram would be able to see it, so they moved it.
“They moved the car with the body still inside to get it away from the tram lines. It wasn’t a nice sight.”
A fire service spokesman said the incident was reported in an initial 999 call only as a car fire, and that two crews were sent from Darnall station.
“The car was well alight when we got there. They put out the fire, but discovered a casualty inside the vehicle.
“They quickly confirmed it as a fatal incident and the police were called. When it became apparent the incident was serious, two of our officers went out as well, including one from the fire investigation department. We had an officer there until about 9pm.”
An inquest has not yet been opened.