"I kind of MacGyver-ed it," Hurtado said Thursday, referring to the old TV drama about a secret agent who used whatever materials he could find to solve problems.
The incident happened Wednesday inside a Home Depot store in West Covina, a suburb east of Los Angeles.
The victim of the self-mutilation remained hospitalised in critical condition as investigators tried to determine why he hurt himself.
The man, whose name wasn't released, underwent surgery and was in intensive care, West Covina police Corporal Rudy Lopez said.
"He's still not speaking," Lopez said. "We don't know anything about his history, motive, concerns at this point."
Police said the man had grabbed several small saws, including one meant to cut drywall.
Hurtado, 51, who works for the Pasadena Fire Department, had stopped by the store with his wife to pick up material to replace the trim on his daughter's house.
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