December 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET

Car Bursts into Flames, Cop Dives in

It's being called a Christmas miracle on a Los Angeles freeway.

A 72-year-old man whose car burst into flames after smashing into the center divider of the 405 has a few Good Samaritans— including a police officer and a fire fighter, to thank for his life this holiday season.

They were there just in the nick of time.

“Don Thompson, a 26-year veteran of the LAPD bomb squad happened to be on his way to work,” CNN’s Miguel Marquez reports. “His shift started early, diving into the flames to pull the driver to safety.”

Thompson says, “It was just a matter of seconds. Another 10,15 seconds there just would have been too much fire."

He adds that he feels good to have saved a life.

“Thank goodness I found that button and popped the belt and grabbed him and pulled him out.”

Adding to the miracle, “a Los Angeles fire fighter happened to be driving by, making the rescue seamless,” Marquez reports.

LAFD Spokesman Erik Scott says that firefighter was be able to “do an immediate patient assessment and get other resources on scene a lot quicker cause he happened to be the commander of the dispatch center and called in directly to do so.”

The driver of the car was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries and Thompson was singed by the fire, but no one was seriously injured.

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  1. DarleneG

    I know Officer Thompson personally. I am not a bit surprised by his heroism. Also check the old news reels. He's the same Officer who placed the handcuffs on O.J. at Rockingham resident and later testified in the trial.

    December 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply

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