California residents use bottles of water to save man trapped in burning car

OAKLAND, Calif. — A man trapped in a burning car on a California highway Saturday was saved when residents used home fire extinguishers and hoses to put out the flames and bottles of water to keep him alive.

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“That absolutely saved his life,” one firefighter told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The man’s black sedan clipped the front of a blue car at an intersection in North Oakland and then ran into a traffic light pole just before 8 p.m. PDT. The impact caused the vehicle to burst into flames, according to the newspaper. The car was charred, with a traffic light on its roof and the pole embedded behind the driver’s seat, the Chronicle reported.

The woman driving the other car was not injured, KTVU reported.

While she did not provide her name, the woman said there were “instantaneous flames” as people rushed over to help pour water on the vehicle to extinguish the flames.

“People were just coming out of the woodwork, everybody was bringing their home extinguishers and people were like pouring little bottles of water,” the woman told the Chronicle. “And he was like, ‘I can’t get out, I can’t get out.”’

A firefighter on the scene told KTVU that residents in the area kept the man alive until more first responders arrived.

According to a spokesperson for the Oakland Fire Department, the man was taken to an area hospital and treated for burns, KTVU reported.

OFD said the man was taken to a hospital to be treated for burn injuries.

Denyne McCoy, who was in the area, said residents reacted quickly to help save the man.

“It didn’t matter what color or race, everybody gave a (expletive) and they came together with water,” McCoy told the Chronicle. “He’s still alive.”