Police officers in Dallas, Texas, got some much-needed help from community members to rescue a man trapped in a burning vehicle recently.
When Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers Jonathan Martinez, Israel Banales, and Johnathan Calder responded to a call about a six-car crash on September 19, they found one of those cars engulfed in flames, according to NBC 5.
“I think our training tells us to think on our feet. We don’t know what we’re going to expect when we go out to a call, always prepare for the worst,” Officer Martinez told the outlet.
The officers did not expect anyone to be inside the car, but when they got closer, citizens told them a person was trapped inside.
Video footage showed a group of people trying desperately to put out the flames by emptying buckets and bottles of water on the vehicle.
Officer Banales grabbed a fire extinguisher and rushed over to help them.
“There was a man inside, he seemed unconscious. When I entered the vehicle, the smoke immediately took all vision away,” Officer Calder explained.
“It was pitch black darkness. It was hot like an oven. The car was melting and dripping onto me and the seatbelt wouldn’t come off,” he continued.
Seconds later, a witness stepped in and cut the seatbelt with a knife, while another person broke a window and crawled inside the vehicle to loosen the man’s foot.
Thanks to their efforts, the officers were able to pull him to safety.
“If it wasn’t for the people trying to help us keep the fire down, breaking the back window, supplying a knife to help cut the seatbelt, if it wasn’t for those citizens there’s no way that man would still be here today,” Officer Calder said.
The man suffered major burns to his body and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to the DPD Beat.
Following the rescue, Officer Martinez praised the citizens for putting themselves in danger to save a person’s life.
“I told the citizens there, ‘If it wasn’t for y’all, we wouldn’t have been able to take this on alone.’ Three officers alone pulling on this guy wouldn’t have made it,” he said.