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Off-duty FDNY firefighter recounts saving a man from a burning car in Brooklyn

Off-duty Brooklyn firefighter hailed as hero for rescuing man from burning car
Off-duty Brooklyn firefighter hailed as hero for rescuing man from burning car 01:55

NEW YORK -- Applause rang out and handshakes were generously given on Monday at FDNY Ladder 148 in Borough Park, Brooklyn in recognition of Lt. Richard Cannon, who was commended for saving a man's live over the weekend. 

"I would hope that any cop, fireman, EMT, who saw that, even a civilian, would stop and do the same thing that I did. It's not just me. It's probably any one of these guys behind me would do the same thing," Cannon said.

Cannon describes the scary moments

Cannon says early Saturday, he was driving home with his wife and two young children from a party on Staten Island. At around 3 a.m., he saw a blue Corvette speeding on the eastbound side of the Belt Parkway near Bath Beach. 

"It was fast enough that we felt, you know, the car shimmy a little bit as they went by," he recalled.

Shortly after, video from Citizen shows the car bursting into flames after it crashed into another vehicle. Three people inside the other car made it out.

Cannon's car was not far behind. He stopped and ran to the burning Corvette and saw the driver's side door pinned shut. 

He then pulled the driver out of the passenger side of the burning car. It was his first rescue in his 23 years on the job.

Hero firefighter calls the crash a "teachable moment"

Cannon said, "My wife even spoke to my son that night about it, said it was like a teachable moment."

An EMS worker at the scene began trying to resuscitate the unconscious driver. Cannon reflected on what he saw.

"It could have easily been us or another family in the car," he said. 

First responders rushed the Corvette driver to Maimonides Medical Center. His condition is unknown. 

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