Burning Car: Driver Rescued By Texas Bricklayers

When a burning car in Texas drew attention on New Years Eve, some local heroes came to the rescue. It wasn’t initially firemen or the usual emergency personnel though.

The heroes were bricklayers in Sugar Land, Texas, who had been building a wall across the street from a recreating center when they heard a loud bang. One of them investigated the noise and reported a car was on fire, having crashed into a tree.

Willie Cleveland was one of the heroic bricklayers involved in the daring rescue, and described the scene.

“Well, we were working, and we heard a crash. And so one of the workers said, ‘A car is on fire down there.’ You know, we could see the flames already started. So we rushed down there and tried to open the doors, and we couldn’t open them.”

The heroic workers tried to smash the windows with bricks, a fire extinguisher, or whatever they could find, knowing that they were in danger themselves. The driver of the burning car, Cathan Paul Kirkwood, was struggling to get out as well, states CBS News.

Jose Melendez, another one of the men who had been building the wall and stopped to save Kirkwood from his own car, told the press how intense the situation was.

“You know, we were really scared because the fire is starting to go to the car. And we’re scared because, you know, maybe it’ll explode.”

Cleveland came up with the idea to use a sledgehammer to get Kirkwood out, and they were finally able to smash the window. The burning car rescue was prevented once again by the air bags. He explained what happened next.

“Then we had to look for a knife. We didn’t have a knife on us. A jogger had a knife. We cut the airbags, and the man was trying to come out backwards, so I told him to turn around because we couldn’t get him by his feet, and he turned around, and we pulled him out.”

Firefighters then arrived to take Kirkwood, still conscious but in pain, to the hospital, and to put out the flames before anything worse could happen. The bricklayers simply went back to work when they arrived.

Kirkwood’s wife states that his leg was broken, but he will be okay.

Witnesses have stated that Kirkwood had been going southbound near Shadowbend Drive and Winding Brook West when he lost control, according to ABC News. It is unknown why he’d lost control of the vehicle.

Local witness Dash Miller called the Sugar Land bricklayers true heroes, and stated that had they not been around, the driver of the burning car would have been dead. Kirkwood’s wife thanks the men who saved her husband’s life.

[Image via ABC News, 700 WLW]

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