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Heroic Bystanders Rescue Two From Fiery Crash in Novato

NOVATO (CBS SF) -- Two neighbors saved two people from a burning car Friday morning after it crashed into a garage in their Novato neighborhood.

Police say before 10 a.m. Friday, a vehicle crashed into a house on Puffin Court, near Alameda Del Prado at James Black Circle.

One neighbor, Christina Stephan, said she and her husband heard a crash after their power went out. Her husband went outside to investigate the noise.

"He came running back in and said 'The building's on fire,'" Stephan said.

Stephan says she went outside and saw a neighbor, who asked not to be identified, near the accident site. The car and the house it crashed into were on fire.

Aftermath of fiery crash in Novato (Dave Cannon/CBS SF)

The unidentified man had pulled the driver from the car while it was on fire. A woman who was a passenger in the car was able to extricate herself from the crash.

Stephan said she went to the crash site to help the bystander pull the driver farther from the accident. She didn't have time to find out what happened as they were concerned the car might explode.

"All we wanted to do was make sure he was safely out of the way," Stephan said. "I don't think you can think about how scared you are when you're in the moment."

Stephan and the man pulled the driver to a nearby driveway and waited for fire crews from the Novato Fire Protection District, who arrived not long after.

It took crews an hour to take control of the blaze as the accident had also sprung a gas leak. Firefighters extinguished the flames, keeping the fire damage to one house, though a nearby house experienced smoke damage, according to fire officials.

The two victims were taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

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