Deputy Helps Man in Burning Car - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Deputy Helps Man in Burning Car



    It's a good thing Deputy Richard McCann is the son of a fireman -- his firefighting skills were put to the test last month.

    The Dallas County sheriff's deputy rescued a man from a burning vehicle March 4.

    McCann said he spotted a shower of sparks coming from a car on Highway 80 just after he issued a speeding ticket.

    "I see this huge glow about 500 yards down the road coming at me, and I notice it's a car, and it's on fire," he said.

    Warning: Profanity: Dash-Cam Footage Shows Rescue From Fiery Car

    [DFW] Warning: Profanity: Dash-Cam Footage Shows Rescue From Fiery Car
    WARNING: Profanity: A Dallas County sheriff's deputy saves a man from a burning car. This raw footage contains some profanity.
    (Published Monday, April 18, 2011)

    Dashboard-camera video shows the 20-year veteran of the department chasing down the car. By the time he arrived, flames were already visible.

    "I could hear flames erupting, like 'whoosh,'" he said. "And I looked under the vehicle, and gasoline was pooling."

    With traffic blocked off, a man from a nearby truck offered McCann a fire extinguisher. It didn't do much to push back the flames.

    McCann even emptied his extinguisher on the fire, but it, too, didn't work.

    He said he noticed that the driver was still inside, so he continued to yell at the man and bang on the driver's side window with his flashlight. The window didn't break.

    McCann said he worried that the man inside might not make it out alive.

    Just as the thought crossed his mind, a large explosion and resulting fireball engulfed the car, and nearly swallowed up McCann.

    He said he thought about his wife and four children in that moment.

    "I told them I loved them -- my wife, my four kids -- before I left," he said. "Everything is right between me and the Lord. This may be it."

    But he was fine.

    The driver of the vehicle also unlocked the door and escaped. Investigators say the man had a medical condition and was unaware of what was going on.

    McCann credits his instincts and a little red Bible he keeps in his pocket for his survival. His son gave him the Bible.

    "It's just a connection with the Lord and also with my family, because I have my little boy's name written in it," he said.

    McCann insists he's no hero, but his bosses think otherwise. He has been nominated for the Life Saving Bar Award by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.