TURLOCK (CBS13) — The search is on for a mystery hero in Turlock who pulled a man from a burning car.
(credit: Turlock Police Department)
The Turlock Police Department said Thursday that firefighters found a man with life-threatening burns in an alley next to the burning car overnight on the 200 block of D Street. Crews had responded shortly after midnight over reports of a vehicle fire. Two witnesses reported the incident after hearing the booming sound of tires popping from the heat.
Turlock police said video evidence suggests the burned man was in the backseat of the vehicle as it was engulfed in flames. In the middle of those flames, someone rushed in through fire and even explosions to pull a person to safety.
"As I got a little closer, that's when the tire popped out," Ashley Frasier said.
Frasier watched it all unfold—a familiar car up in flames.
"It was like the tires, and then a couple minutes later, the doors would explode off," she said. "It was a lot."
She knew the car and she knew the person who lived in it. Frasier is a front desk receptionist at Turlock Gospel Mission. She knew right away that one of their clients was in trouble. But when she rushed in to help, it was too dangerous.
"It was probably the loudest boom I've ever heard and when it did explode, it would explode with smoke and fire at the same time," she said.
Frasier struggled and frantically worried about how to get her client out of a burning, exploding car.
"It's hard, especially when you feel like there's nothing you can do about it," she said. "And all you can do is sit back and watch and hope that God is keeping them safe."
Perhaps it was that prayer that saved her client's life. Before Frasier knew it, someone had pulled him to safety.
Investigators think a good Samaritan rescued the man but did not remain on the scene. They are asking for that person to come forward to provide a statement.
"If this good Samaritan had not helped when they did, our investigation would look very different," said Detective Brandon Bertram with Turlock police. "This person most certainly saved the man's life."
Turlock police said the cause of the fire remains under investigation and that there is no indication it was arson.
The burned man was flown to a burn center to undergo surgery.
"Whoever did it, they don't really need the glory for it," Frasier said. "They know in their hearts they saved his life, I hope."
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