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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Firefighter Leaving Work Late Spots Fiery Crash, Saves Unresponsive Man Trapped in Burning Jeep

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Our lives are full of little inconveniences that slow us down and seem to have no purpose other than to aggravate: multiple red lights in a row, an almost empty gas tank, or getting off of work late are just a few of the more common headaches.

But sometimes those minor inconveniences end up being someone else’s blessing, as in this case.

Tavaris Patton of Jackson, Mississippi, was leaving work later than usual on Monday when he came across a fiery scene.

Two cars had hit each other head-on, and one of them, a jeep, had been pushed off the road and was being consumed by flames. The driver was still inside, unresponsive.

Patton, a 20-year veteran firefighter, immediately ran to the scene and was able to assess the situation quickly. He knew that the man’s situation was dire.

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“And I jump on the Jeep to assist and then I see that the man is still in his seatbelt,” he told WAPT. “It was kind of hard because he couldn’t respond to anything.

“I reached down and started untangling his legs … I realize that both his legs are broken, so once finally untangling his legs, we was able to pull him out.”

Then Patton rushed to get behind cover in case the fire progressed.

“I struggled to go behind a tree for his safety and for our safety, so in case the Jeep exploded, we would have some kind of protection,” he said.

The man was eventually flown to a hospital, and Patton was left with a reason for why he left work late. He has been saying that he knew he was in the right place at the right time.

“Even off duty I run into the (fire emoji) to save lives!” he posted on Facebook on Jan. 23.

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Plenty of people hopped on Patton’s post to thank him for his bravery, as the man in the jeep certainly would have died if someone hadn’t come along at just the right time.

Friends and family of the injured man also commented, publicly thanking the off-duty firefighter for his service.

“I thank God for this firefighter,” Brenda Shearer wrote. “He saved my brothers life. May God Bless this precious man.”

“Mr. Patton, I want to say Thank you for being there,” Irene Esco wrote. “The gentleman you saved is one of my supervisors. I Thank God for You!!! I lift you up in the Mighty name of Jesus Christ and speak Blessings upon you. In Jesus name Amen.”

A woman named Brandi Rae who identified herself as a cousin of the victim said that he is in critical condition, but is responsive and fighting to get well again.

“I thank God he gave me the strength to save him and I pray he recovers well!” Patton wrote.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking