Michael Campanella helped to rescue a man from burning, Clifton Park, New York, August 8, 2014. A 54-year-old man remained in the driver’s seat of a station wagon that was aflame on the inside after the vehicle left the roadway and came to rest in mud at the edge of a pond. Driving nearby, Campanella, 40, general contractor, witnessed the accident and ran to the scene, as did another male motorist. They found flames virtually filling the vehicle’s passenger compartment, spreading toward its front end, and issuing from the partially opened window of the driver’s door. The driver’s hair and shirt were aflame. After the man was removed through the driver’s door to the mud beside the vehicle, Campanella and the other motorist, each grasping a wrist, dragged him a short distance to the pond. As the other motorist used mud and water to extinguish flames on the driver’s body and clothing, Campanella left the immediate scene to retrieve a bucket. Upon returning, he found that the driver was attempting to re-enter the burning vehicle, the inside of which was fully engulfed by flame. Campanella pushed him to the mud. First responders arrived and secured the man, who was then taken to the hospital. Medics at the scene treated Campanella, who sustained minor burns to a hand and other slight injury. He fully recovered.
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