I stayed up late that night, three hours past my usual bedtime. At about 2:00 AM Saturday December 3rd I decided to turn in for the night. I had just slipped in bed and switched the lamp off, when I heard a deep loud "POP." At first I thought someone was breaking in through the garage, but the dogs weren't barking. I walked to the living room, everything was silent. I drew back the curtains to take a look outside. I saw a black car mangled around the light pole across the street, fire burning under the engine. I yelled for my wife, "wake up, call 9-1-1, someone hit a telephone pole, their car's on fire!" I said, as I rushed to the bedroom, threw on my pants and shoes, grabbed a shirt, and flew out the door as fast as I could.
I saw a man that had bailed out, stumbling in front of the wreck. Another passenger kicked open his door, and crawled out. "Where is the driver, who is left in the car?" I yelled. No answer, they were in shock. The car was filled with smoke, and the windows were tinted. I couldn't see in, but I knew the driver was trapped inside.
I pulled out my Flashlight, and hammered the window two or three times. The window stood stout. I flipped the flashlight around, and swung at the window with all my strength. The glass fell in. I got my first view at the driver, groaning in agony as flames engulfed his legs. I pulled the glass away. "Pull the door on the count of three!" I yelled, "1-2-3 Pull-Pull-Pull!" The door was shut clamshell tight. The cab of the car was glowing orange with flames. I pulled out my Pocket Knife, flipped it open, and handed it to the passenger. "Cut him out, I'm getting the fire extinguisher!" I yelled. I frantically ran to the house, my wife passed me the fire extinguisher.
Gasping for air I hurried back, blasted the fire extinguisher at his feed dousing the flames as the passenger sawed through his belt. The flames shot back up, my extinguisher was out. The man screamed in pain as the other two men desperately pulled on their friend, but something was desperately wrong. They had cut his shoulder belt, but his lap belt was holding him in like a snake coiled around its prey. "where's my knife!" I screamed. Still in shock the passengers could not answer. I thought to myself: Am I going to come all this way just to watch him die before my eyes?
I reached into my pocket one last time, pulled out my Leatherman Ps4 Keychain Multi Tool, and opened the two inch blade, slicing the last belt clean. We yanked him through the window. He groaned in agony his legs flaming, his shoes were melted, and his pants charred tatters. We drug him away from the towering flames, and billowing smoke. Small explosions rocked the horrid scene, as Emergency vehicles poured in. He was suffering, but he was alive.
Without my Flashlight, Pocket Knife, and my Leatherman Ps4 Keychain Multi Tool, I couldn't have saved him. People say I'm a hero, but with tools like these how could I be anything else?
- James B.