Two Dallas police officers and a good Samaritan neighbor are being called heroes Monday for their valiant efforts in saving the life of a suspected thief who had just crashed his vehicle into an east Dallas home.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, was reportedly spotted breaking into a car shortly before 1 a.m. and stealing a purse near the Casa View Shopping Center off of Ferguson Street, according to police.
A witness to that crime called 911, according to police.
The man drove off along Ferguson, until he spotted a Dallas police car pulled off on the side of the road with its flashing lights on, police said. That officer was changing a tire on the car and did not take part in the pursuit.
At that point, in an apparent effort to avoid capture, police said the man veered off onto Oates Drive and slammed into a home hitting an SUV and pickup in the driveway at Oates Circle. According to witnesses, the vehicle burst into flames with the man trapped inside.
The crash woke up people inside the home, an elderly woman and her adult son ran outside to safety.
Within a matter of moments, the fiery vehicle caught the home on fire, witnesses told NBC 5.
At that point, a neighbor from across the street showed up with a fire extinguisher, just as two Dallas police vehicles arrived. Those officers and the neighbor pulled the man from his vehicle, likely saving his life.
The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he is under police guard, in serious but stable condition.
The Red Cross is assisting the homeowners due to extensive fire damage to their house.