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Video shows Austin police rescue man from burning truck moments before explosion

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Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:07:33-04

AUSTIN, Texas — Two police officers in Texas rescued a man from a burning truck and the intense moment was captured on their body cameras.

The Austin Police Department released videos of the incident on YouTube, which show officers Eduardo Pineda and Chandler Carrera responding to the burning vehicle on May 24.

Corporal Destiny Silva, a public information officer with the department, said at a press briefing that several calls came in regarding an unconscious man inside of a vehicle that was on fire.

Silva said the officers responded within minutes and were able to break a window to free the driver from the engulfed vehicle.

“They weren’t able to make direct contact with him, but they were able to break out the window and then safely pull this man to safety and save his life so that he could be treated by Austin-Travis County EMS,” said Silva.

Shortly after the man was removed from the truck, Silva said the vehicle exploded.

“If it weren’t for their heroic actions, we don’t know how this situation would have turned out and they saved someone’s life,” said Silva.

The officers said they don’t consider themselves heroes because they were doing their jobs.

“It feels good, but we don’t consider ourselves heroes,” said Pineda. “We’re just police officers. That’s our job. We’re here to help people. That’s why we became police officers. So, I’m just happy it brought a positive light to the community.”

Pineda described how he went about rescuing the man.

“I saw as I was running up to the vehicle, one of the citizens started yelling out that he was still in the car,” said Pineda. “I tried to look inside the window as I was making my way up, but there was too much smoke. I couldn’t see anything. I ran up to the driver’s side door. I tried opening it. Luck being the way it is, it was locked, so at that point, I just got my ASP (baton) and broke the window down to be able to look inside. Once I broke the window down, then I saw the individual inside and then just went from there.”

Once the man was out of the truck, police said the Austin Fire Department arrived and put out the fire, so it couldn’t expand to buildings or other vehicles.

“We’re really happy the way it turned out. It was a dangerous situation, but at the end of the day, everybody made it out fine, so that’s what matters,” said Pineda.