San José policeman pulls man out of burning car

A San José policeman is hailed as a hero after rescuing a man from a burning car.

On Sunday, a fire crew was on their way to a collision that left a car in flames on the 101 freeway, but discovered that rookie officer Pedro Garcia had arrived first and was pulling the driver to safety.

Video recorded from a rescuer’s car shows Garcia did not hesitate as he pulled the trapped victim out of the fire. The officer told KTVU he found the man unconscious and hung up on his car.

“I was like, ‘Hey brother, let go, your car is on fire!’ Garcia said. He said as he dragged the man to safety, “I explained to him, ‘You are fine, brother, you are fine. They are going to examine you.”

“Heroes are marching among us. There is no training for a moment like this. We are putting our lives on the line to save others. Fantastic job Officer Garcia! We salute you,” may we read in a press release from the SJPD.

Garcia said it didn’t matter if the firefighters were right behind him or the CHP had jurisdiction over the highway.

“In this situation I feel like seconds count so I didn’t want to spend more time,” Garcia said. “I believe I was in the right place at the right time. And it was just instinct. I had to do it.”

The patient was treated and transported to a nearby hospital. Garcia suffered no injuries.

“I later learned from the firefighters that his shoes had melted to the floor,” Garcia said.

Still, he says he shouldn’t be seen as a hero.

“Anyone else in the department, if he was in this situation that I was, would have done the exact same thing,” he said.

Chef Anthony Mata said: “To have his training the way he did was just amazing. I am proud of his courageous actions.


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