Off-duty firefighter, bystander pull man from burning car

Off-duty firefighter, bystander pull man from burning car
An off-duty firefighter and bystander are credited with helping pull a man from a burning car in Harwich, Mass. on Nov. 20, 2020. (Harwich Fire Department)

HARWICH, Mass. — An off-duty firefighter and a helpful bystander were in the right place at the right time on Friday night, saving a driver from a fiery car crash in Harwich.

The Harwich Fire Department said they received a call for a single car accident on Route 6 near exit 10, saying the car had rolled over and was on fire in the woods.

While Harwich and Brewster fire departments, Massachusetts State Police and Harwich Police responded to the area, another call was received saying the driver was still in the car.

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Off-duty firefighter Josh Ford got to the scene and, with another bystander, rushed to the car to find the gas tank had ruptured. Fire was erupting from underneath the car as the two grabbed a tire iron from the trunk and broke the rear passenger window to pull the driver out as the driver’s side window was blocked.

“As a department we are all very proud of firefighter Ford for his actions,” said Harwich fire chief David LeBlanc. “It is one thing to act this way while on duty, with your fellow firefighters and in full gear. But it is quite another thing to act this way while driving down the road with your family.

“Josh’s actions represent a mindset of putting the citizens before himself, and a mindset as a fire chief I believe is the core mission of the fire department.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if it hadn’t been for the efforts of firefighter Ford and the bystander, the outcome from last night’s accident would have been much worse.”

Harwich firefighters extinguished the car fire and evaluated the driver, who was transported to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating the accident.