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Hero Teen Saves Woman And Her Three Kids From Burning Car In Connecticut

by : Cameron Frew on : 16 Sep 2020 17:29
Hero Teen Saves Woman And Her Three Kids From Burning CarHero Teen Saves Woman And Her Three Kids From Burning CarWaterbury Police Department/Facebook

As a car became engulfed in flames in Connecticut, a teenager leaped into action to save the lives of a mum and her three children.

On September 9 this year, Justin Gavin was out walking to his local Walgreens. Meanwhile, the Waterbury Police Department had been receiving multiple calls about a small SUV on fire, describing a mother trapped inside.

Soon, the 18-year-old saw the flaming vehicle drive past him with a young girl in the car window. However, the car wasn’t stopping, no matter how hard everyone around it tried.

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Check out the police department’s video below: 

Gavin told CNN that drivers all round the area were honking their horns and stepping out of their cars to try and warn the woman that her car was on fire. ‘I’m yelling stop the car! Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire!’ he said.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the driver couldn’t bring the car to a halt. While others continued to shout, Gavin took immediate action and began chasing down the vehicle. ‘I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out, I guess my instincts took over,’ he explained.

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Burning Car Justin GavinBurning Car Justin GavinWaterbury Police Department/Facebook

Finally, he managed to catch up with the car when it mercifully stopped. As he opened the car door and helped the mother out of the driver’s seat, the flames grew more fearsome. ‘It kind of got scary because I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to get everyone out in time,’ he said.

However, he added: ‘Luckily I did.’ Moving quickly, he managed to pull the three children – aged one, four and nine, with the youngest in a car seat – to safety.

Burning Car Justin Gavin 2Burning Car Justin Gavin 2Waterbury Police Department/Facebook
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In a video posted to the Waterbury Police Department’s Facebook page, Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo acknowledged Gavin’s bravery with a ‘challenge coin… as a token of my appreciation for you being a great member of this community’.

Spagnolo added: 

I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved. Any time you can always look at that coin and reflect back on this great moment in your life.

Waterbury Police Department Justin GavinWaterbury Police Department Justin Gavin
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According to the police, the mother credits Gavin with saving her family’s life. For the teen, it was an inspiring experience which gave him some perspective. ‘It made me realise life is short,’ he said.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Burning Car, Connecticut, family, Fire, US, Waterbury Police Department

Credits

CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    A Connecticut teen saves the lives of a mom and three children by pulling them from a burning car

  2. Waterbury Police Department/Facebook

    @WaterburyPoliceDept