SUITLAND, Md. - Teamwork between police officers and firefighters in Prince George's County helped save the life of a driver who was trapped inside a burning car early Friday morning.
Police say officers responded to a call of a car accident in the 2000 block of Lakewood Street in Suitland at around 12:30 a.m. The whole rescue was caught on police dash-cam video.
Two Prince George’s County police officers arrived on the scene first and they didn't hesitate to act. Two other officers arrived and followed suit. You can see them trying to use their fire extinguishers to put out the flames.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident, but the driver had crashed into several parked cars setting one of them on fire as well.
Concerned neighbors came out of their homes and it was a chaotic scene. At first, the officers thought the driver must have gotten out, but then they heard a voice coming from the car.
These four officers are on the same squad working the midnight shift. They know each other well, and without needing to speak, they knew what to do.
“The fire extinguisher did nothing,” Officer Nicholas Clayton described. “Flames were way too intense, way too hot. Tires were exploding, and so we began breaking windows, yelling at the individual inside to make an attempt to come out. I didn’t have any gloves on. I knew the car was very hot, so I used my baton, opened the door handle and we all dragged him out. He was still on fire -- his head, his pants, his shoes.”
You can see a firefighter from the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department, Daniel Collins, arriving as they are pulling the man out and he also rushes in to help.
The victim was breathing, but officials said he suffered serious burns and internal injuries. He is in critical condition, but thanks to these first responders, he is expected to survive.
“Once we realized that there was actually somebody in the vehicle, it kind of just kicked in,” said Officer Jeremy Burch. “It wasn’t how intense the fire was, how dangerous it actually was, we were just worried about getting him out of the car.”
“That was the goal,” said Officer Alba De Jesus. “Just getting this guy out and saving his life.”
“I feel proud every day to put on a uniform and work with these guys, so it was just another day,” said Officer Mike Morris.