FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) - A Camp Pendleton Marine is speaking out, nearly two months later after he helped rescue a trapped baby from a burning car.
A few days before Christmas, Tony Hurley, his wife and one-year-old girl, were on East Mission Road headed toward a relative's home, when a gas can fell off a truck, becoming wedged under their car.
Driving behind them was a Camp Pendleton Marine, Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Wetter.
"Immediately started sparking. Then it ruptured in flames," said Wetter.
Soon after Hurley pulled over, flames encircled the front of the car. Wetter tried using a fire extinguisher on the flames.
"That’s when I heard the mom yell, 'My baby’s in the car,'" said Wetter.
In the back seat, the latch for the car seat base was stuck and a frantic Hurley couldn’t get his baby out. Wetter, a father of 2-year-old triplets, reached for his pocketknife and cut the seat belt.
"At that point, nothing else mattered in the world other than to get this child out of the car," said Wetter.
Minutes after the baby was brought to safety, flames engulfed the car. Nearby was a father, grateful that Wetter was there.
"I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened if he hadn’t been on scene ... Definitely a hero in my book and more than grateful," said Hurley.
Since that day, Wetter has spoken with the family several times.
"Called them, sent them a message around Christmas to make sure they were all right," said Wetter. "They are people I’ll definitely stay in contact with. Just like in the military, when you go through tough times, you create an instant bond."
That bond was forged in fire on a roadside.
"People say, 'You’re a hero. Congratulations.' I didn’t do it for that. I did it to be a good person and a good example for my kids, and all people around me. If people take five minutes out of their day to help people out, it will go a long way," said Wetter.
Wetter has been nominated for two awards, a military honor and one from the North County Fire Protection District.