Police recognized a teenager last week for rescuing an entire family from a burning vehicle in Waterbury, Connecticut.
As 18-year-old Justin Gavin walked down the street on Wednesday, he saw an SUV covered in flames pass by him, according to Fox Carolina.
Drivers honked their horns and tried to alert the woman at the wheel as the car kept going.
“I’m yelling stop the car! Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire!” Gavin recalled.
The teenager then ran after the vehicle to help those inside escape.
“I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out. I guess my instincts took over,” Gavin said.
When the SUV finally came to halt, he opened the door and unfastened the woman’s seatbelt, then noticed three children in the back.
“As the flames grew larger, Justin pulled all three of the kids from the car, including a one-year-old baby in a car seat, away from the fire,” the Waterbury Police Department said in a video posted on Facebook.
Moments later, the flames engulfed the car.
“It kind of got scary because I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to get everyone out in time. And luckily, I did,” Gavin noted.
The children’s mother credited the young man with saving their lives, according to WFSB.
Later that day, Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo gave Gavin a challenge coin to acknowledge his bravery.
“It’s just to acknowledge this heroic act that you conducted today and just a token of my appreciation for you being a great member of this community,” the chief said.
“I hope that when you have that coin, it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and for that family that you saved,” he added.
Gavin thanked Spagnolo and the two men shook hands.