Good Samaritans to the rescue in I-40 breakdown and fire

Good Samaritans help man after car fire

HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Max Martinez’s day started out not so good but ended on a high note. He was traveling with his family from Asheville to the Raleigh area in his pickup loaded with tools for his construction business. That’s when something happened to the engine.

As he pulled into the median, he noticed a line of flames behind him. When he stopped, everyone rushed out as flames developed under the truck and started spreading. “I didn’t know what happened,’ he said later.

Despite flames being right below the gas tank, Martinez and his family jumped into the bed of the pickup and started hauling the tools to safety. Those are part of his livelihood and he needed them, he said. As the flames picked up, people kept driving by, not stopping to lend a hand. That is, until Chris Dixon of Charlotte and Guy Kaps of New Jersey stopped their trucks, grabbed fire extinguishers and ran to help.

Within a minute they had the flames under the truck controlled and soon after had the other flames out too. When firefighters showed up and started soaking the ground around the truck, the two men left. “Just helping out, “ said Dixon. “For the good of the people,” said Kaps.

Martinez did not get a chance to thank the two. “They good people, good persons,” he said. The truck can be saved, he said, because of the efforts of those two men. At last report, the truck was on a flatbed tow truck and on its way back to Asheville, with the Martinez family riding along.

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