Man rescued from burning car in San Francisco

November 21, 2011 5:54:30 PM PST
Four heroes rushed to pull a man from a burning car in San Francisco and saved his life. The scene at 13th and Folsom was frightening, but it didn't stop two police officers and two other Good Samaritans from risking their own lives.

One of the Good Samaritans burned his hand in the rescue.

Police say there's no doubt the man who was unconscious inside this car would have died in this fire if some brave men hadn't pulled him to safety. One of his rescuers was asleep when he heard the car crash; he was barefoot and only wearing his underwear, but he ran out to help.

"A little spark of flame started shooting out of the hood. Everyone was standing around yelling for the guy to wake up, he wouldn't wake up," said K2.

K2 couldn't believe people were just yelling at the guy. He realized he was going to have to get into the locked car. So he grabbed the Folsom Street sign the driver had crashed into and knocked out a window.

"I grabbed that and started bashing the windows in, couldn't' do it - and then another guy started helping me with the windows and we both together got it," said K2.

The other guy was a taxi driver who stopped to help. The two men still couldn't get the door open to save the driver.

"Then I saw the airbag catching on fire and then his clothes started catching fire a little bit. Another guy found a brick and helped us take out the rest of the windows," said K2.

By then police had arrived.

"When I arrived the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. The victim had his seatbelt on. I got out my knife and cut the seatbelt off and helped pull him out of the vehicle," said San Francisco Police Officer Daniel Solorzano.

Those who watched the rescue were in awe.

"I think it's very heroic. I think it's risky, I've seen these fires before in cars and an explosion could happen any time but they stayed with it, which was incredible," said witness Pete Sellars.

"I'm glad he is alive. I don't really feel like a hero or anything like that. I'm just glad a few of us were there to think fast and get him out of there," said K2.

Paramedics stabilized the driver and took him to San Francisco General Hospital.

"They all put themselves in harm's way by helping someone else in this tragic situation," said San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza.

Once the driver is medically cleared he will be booked on a charge of DUI.


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