John Reed, Jr., helped to rescue Kevin R. Reed from burning, St. Petersburg, Florida, February 11, 2014. Kevin, 46, was unconscious in the driver’s seat of a burning cargo van transporting pool chemicals after it struck a tree head on. A motorist who had just parked nearby, John, 35, boilermaker, and his passenger, a coworker, witnessed the accident. They ran to the scene, finding that flames were filling the van, having spread from its rear to the driver’s seat. John reached into the van through the opened driver’s door and felt for Kevin’s safety belt release, but flames caused him to withdraw. His coworker pulled Kevin’s safety belt away from his left shoulder and cut it with a pocketknife. As the coworker then grasped Kevin, who was aflame, about the upper body, John extended his arms around Kevin’s legs, and together the men lifted him from the van and carried him to safety as the van filled with flames. They used the coworker’s shirt and their hands to extinguish the flames on Kevin. Kevin required lengthy hospitalization for treatment of burns to 30 percent of his body and inhalation injuries. John sustained a minor burn to a leg, and he fully recovered.
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