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Rookie police officer in San Jose pulls unconscious motorist from burning car

Car fire San Jose
Posted at 7:09 AM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 15:19:15-04

A rookie cop in San Jose is being hailed as a hero after he helped pull an unconscious motorist from a burning car.

Fire officials told Officer Pedro Garcia that without his quick thinking, the incident could have been fatal.

According to police, Garcia was driving on Highway 101 near I-680 in San Jose Sunday when he happened to spot a car on fire.

"I just believe I was in the right place at the right time," Garcia said. "I know any other of my partners or anyone in the department would've done the same exact thing."

He quickly responded and noticed that the driver was unconscious.

Body camera footage shows Garcia rushing to the car and pulling the driver to safety. Garcia told reporters that by the time he arrived on the scene, the driver's shoes had melted to the floorboard.

"It's happened out of nowhere, and I just knew his life was at risk, and the first thing that was going through my mind was, 'Get him out of the vehicle before it was just covered in flames,'" Garcia said.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the driver was transported to a local hospital and treated for injuries. Garcia was not injured during the incident.

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata praised Garcia for his quick action.

"His dedication, not only to his work but to his community, is amazing," Mata said. "He's from San Jose, born and raised here, and he is the ultimate of what we expect of our officers to give back to our community, and that's what he did."

The extent of the driver's injuries was not immediately known.