Gastonia motorists hailed as heroes - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gastonia motorists hailed as heroes

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Courtesy: Gastonia Fire Department Courtesy: Gastonia Fire Department
Courtesy: Gastonia Fire Department Courtesy: Gastonia Fire Department

Four Gastonia motorists are being hailed as heroes after pulling someone from a burning truck moments before it erupted in flames.

Firefighters say the incident began Tuesday night at Royal Oaks Road and Kendrick Road when a truck caught fire after it came to rest on its side in a ditch.

That's when two men who were driving by saw the wreckage and sprang into action.

The fire extinguisher in Mike Ewing's truck was enough to help keep the raging flames in check.

"I was driving down the road and I happened to see the truck on its side," Ewing said. "I saw the flames and realized that I had a fire extinguisher in my tool box. I immediately pulled over and grabbed it."

"I just threw everything out, and grabbed it out. And I just wish I had a bigger one," he said.

Matt Hudson, who was with Ewing, grabbed the fire extinguisher and began fighting the flames.

"Unfortunately, a five pound extinguisher wasn't able to get all of the fire out, but it was enough to knock it down to the point of where I could make verbal confirmation with the person inside," Hudson said.

As the flames continued growing, two more people had joined Ewing and Hudson near the burning truck.

All four bystanders were faced with a critical decision, Hudson recalls. "Myself and another individual began to drag the individual out of the back window," he said.

Chris Stowe from the Gastonia Fire Department praised their actions.

"These citizens – they're heroes," Stowe said. "One of them reached in to get the victim, and another citizen reached in to get that citizen and it was a chain and they rescued the victim and soon as they got the victim out the whole car engulfed in flames."

One of the four being praised as heroes, Steve Hardy, managed to post those moments on Facebook.

Mike Ewing, however, downplays the applause. "I didn't think a thing about it. I was just trying to help someone in need," he said.

The memories are as close as his cell phone, where he keeps the pictures.

Paramedics are not releasing the name of the man rescued from the truck, but they told WBTV he went to the hospital with serious injuries.

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