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Thursday, December 26, 2013

LAPD Bomb Squad Officer and Two Civilians Rescue Trapped Elderly Motorist From Burning Vehicle #CaFire #GoodCop

Near Death Fiery Christmas Crash Has Fortunate Ending

Update: Elderly Man rescued from burning car arrested for DUI
72-year-old man who was rescued from his burning car on the 405 Freeway has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, according to the CHP. The driver's black Mercedes Benz station wagon burst into flames after he veered across the lanes and crashed into the center divider around 1:45 p.m. near the Sepulveda Pass.
LAPD Bomb Squad Lt. Don Thompson talks to the media after he rescued a driver from a burning car on the 405 Freeway on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013.
(KABC Photo)
SHERMAN OAKS - Emergency Personnel and two civilians rescued a trapped elderly motorist from a burning vehicle on the northbound San Diego Freeway (405), just South of Ventura Boulevard, on December 25, 2013.
Just before 2:00 p.m., a station wagon on the freeway lost control for unknown reasons and collided into the concrete center divider and burst into flames. Fortunately, there happened to be two Emergency Responders, one on his way to work and another traveling to visit family for Christmas, along with other brave motorists that changed the outcome of a man's life

LAPD Bomb Squad Officer Thompson was driving to work on the southbound 405 freeway when he witnessed a station wagon crash and burst into flames. He quickly pulled to the center median, jumped over the guardrail and opened the car door. The driver of the vehicle was unconscious and still trapped behind the wheel as the flames began to engulf the front seat compartment.  The Officer fought the intense heat and smoke while feverishly working to remove the victims seat belt and pulled him out. With the help of two brave motorists, they carried the limp victim over the center median to safety, where another fortunate event took place.

Off-Duty Battalion Chief Miyagishima was headed to visit family for a Christmas dinner. He supervises LAFD's 9-1-1 dispatch center. Witnessing the driver being pulled out, he promptly called a direct line to an on-duty LAFD Captain at the dispatch center and provided the exact location of the incident. This was a great help since previous commuters contacting 9-1-1 provided different locations. This is an important reminder when calling 9-1-1 knowing your exact location or address expedites response. He also advised responding firefighters to access to the traffic filled incident by strategically and safely entering a nearby off-ramp, saving approximately five minutes. Miyagishima then started to assess the injured driver before additional help arrived. 

The man driving the car was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries. Officer Thompson sustained first and second-degree burns, abrasions to his hands and knees and suffered from smoke inhalation during the rescue. Thompson was treated by LAFD personnel on scene and later received additional treatment for his injuries at an urgent care facility. There were no other injuries.

The trapped victim would not have survived if it had not been for the fortunate and brave intervention.

Dispatched Units: E39 E83 E37 E99 E108 RA39 LF39 RA78 LF88 BC10

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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