Three people are credited with saving a woman from a fiery crash near Spokane International Airport Thursday, potentially risking their own lives in the process, the Spokane Fire Department said.
Firefighters got a call reporting the crash near the intersection of Hayford and Thorpe roads around 9 p.m.
One passerby told firefighters he was heading home from work a ways behind the car that eventually crashed. He said there was a curve in the road and the other driver’s car flipped over into an embankment.
The man, as well as another man and a woman, pulled over to help.
With a fire spreading quickly from the engine, the trio had pulled the then-unconscious driver halfway out of the car when she started kicking and screaming and tried to get back in, the fire department said.
The passersby then broke the windshield of the car to pull the woman out, but she was screaming about a baby and the three helpers noticed a child seat in the car, the fire department said.
The cab was already on fire by the time they got the woman out.
Fearing an imminent explosion, the three rescuers still set out on a frantic search for the baby, but the fire department said it turned out there hadn’t been a child inside the car after all.
The rescuers pulled the woman to the roadway and were attending to her when firefighters got to the scene. By then, the car was fully engulfed in a fire that also spread to some nearby brush.
The woman likely would have died had it not been for the rescuers, a fire official said.
While the fire department commended the rescuers who “heroically risked their own safety” to save the woman, the department also “always encourages the community to notify 911 and not put themselves in harm’s way during an emergency.”
“In this instance,” a news release from the department says, “fire officials believe the community members’ actions did indeed save a life.”