VIDEO: Montgomery County police officers save man from burning car on I-270

Two Montgomery County, Maryland, police officers, who were driving in the right place at the right time, got a man out of a burning vehicle after a crash on Interstate 270 early Saturday morning.

It was at around 1:25 a.m., when Officer Nathan Rodgers first noticed a car off the side of the road with its emergency signals on near Montgomery Village Avenue. Rodgers said he turned on his cruiser’s lights, and as he approached that vehicle, he looked off to the side of the road and realized why the driver had stopped.

“I saw a car smoking pretty heavily into the grass berm,” Rodgers said.

As Rodgers jumped into action, he was able to talk to the driver but was unable to get to him because the door of the car would not open.

“His foot went to the gas and slammed it to the floor, the engine started overheating and redlining,” Rodgers said.

Luckily seconds away, was Sgt. B. Drew, who was headed home. Drew saw Rodger’s cruiser and stopped to help. Drew was able to get the driver’s foot off the gas, but that didn’t prevent the car from catching fire and igniting the grass underneath it, as well. Rodgers said, at that point, he ran to his patrol car for a fire extinguisher as Drew pulled out his flashlight.

“Sgt. Drew was able to break the window because the door was only able to open about 4 inches,” Rodgers said.

In both body and dash camera videos from the evening, Drew can be seen using his flashlight to break the window and pull the man out of the burning vehicle.

Rodgers said he was able to douse the flames enough so that they could drag the man to safety. Shortly after, Rodgers said Montgomery County Fire and EMS crews made it through the traffic caused by the crash and extinguished the fire.

“I’m definitely glad that myself and Sgt. Drew were there and were able to help the driver out of that situation,” Rodgers said.

The officer also hopes in the future, he and Drew can reunite with the man they helped save. The man was taken to the hospital and his condition is not known.

In addition to calling 911 for help, Rogers shared some additional advice for anyone who may find themselves facing a similar dangerous situation.

“The best thing you can do is stay calm and just do whatever you possibly can to help another individual,” Rodgers said.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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