Two ‘hot’ Austin police officers who pulled a man from a burning truck have set the internet aflame.
Chandler Carrera and and Eddie Pineda were recognized for their brave efforts in dragging an unconscious man from his Dodge Ram near the Enclave apartments in south Austin on Monday.
The driver suffered a medical emergency while backing into a parking spot, and his foot became stuck to the accelerator, causing the tires to spin continually and setting off the blaze, the Austin Fire Department said.
Dramatic bodycam footage shows Pineda breaking the front truck window open as flames tore through the engine and smoke billowed throughout the cab.
Pineda can be seen calling Carrera to help as they wrestle the man free from the truck just before it exploded.
The man was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center with life-threatening injuries last Monday.
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Austin police officers Eduardo Pineda, left, and Chandler Carrera, right, were hailed as heroes for saving the life of a man they pulled from a burning truck
Dramatic bodycam footage shows Pineda breaking the front truck window open as flames tore through the vehicle and smoke billowed throughout the cab
Pineda yells for his partner to help him get the man out of the truck. The driver had suffered a medical event while backing into a parking spot near the Enclave apartments in south Austin and his foot became stuck to the accelerator
The pair drag the badly burned man to safety moments before the truck explodes
Carrera attempts to administer first aid to the driver, who was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries
The fully burned out truck moments after Carrera and Pineda had pulled the driver to safety
Appearing at a press conference Wednesday, Carrera and Pineda attempted to pour cold water on suggestions they were heroes.
‘It feels good, but we don’t consider ourselves heroes,’ Pineda said.
‘We’re police officers. That’s the job. We’re here to help people.’
Later that day a post on the Austin Statesman’s Instagram page of Carrera examining the burned wreck of the truck began attracting admiring comments.
‘Which was hotter, these cops or the fire?’ Trinity Stennfeld wrote.
‘REFUND THE POLICE!’ Jamie Tadlock wrote in all caps.
Someone called Mrs N Zuniga said: ‘I’m about to start a fire’.
Not to be outdone, Dawn Weathersbee said: ‘Good work. And those two can save me anytime.’
‘Steviegasm’ said: ‘Please send Officers Carrera and Pineda my way cause I’m about to break the law’.
Megan Ziskind wrote: ‘Oww oww.. yes, I will step out of the vehicle.’
‘They look like actors cast in the role of police,’ Paula VM Photography said.
‘Which was hotter, these cops or the fire?’ Trinity Stennfeld wrote
‘REFUND THE POLICE!’ Jamie Tadlock wrote in all caps
Someone called Mrs N Zuniga said: ‘I’m about to start a fire’
‘Steviegasm’ said: ‘Please send Officers Carrera and Pineda my way cause I’m about to break the law’
Megan Ziskind wrote: ‘Oww oww.. yes, I will step out of the vehicle’
Dawn Weathersbee said: ‘Good work. And those two can save me anytime’
Dora ATX was ready to be pulled over by officers Carrera and Pineda
‘They look like actors cast in the role of police,’ Paula VM Photography said
‘Lights my vehicle on fire,’ CV Day wrote
The pair’s heroics earned plaudits from the police department, with the officers being named Austin PD’s employees of the week, and chef’s coins.
They also appeared on CNN to discuss the rescue, with Pineda saying it was ‘pure training’ that had kicked in to help him save the man.
‘I felt the adrenaline after everything was done,’ he said.
Before joining the police, 6 foot 1 Carrera was an accomplished football player, turning out for the University of North Alabama Lion’s as their first-choice place kicker in the 2017 season.
The blaze began on Monday morning when the driver suffered a medical event whil parking his truck.
Police and the fire department were called, with the two hero officers arriving first.
According to the Austin-Statesman, a man near the truck yelled, ‘He’s in there! He’s still in there! He’s in there,’ which may have alerted the officers to the trapped driver.
Tony Farmer, who lives next to the apartments, witnessed the whole incident after hearing one of the loud bangs from the truck.
‘I was just chillin’ inside and I heard a loud bang, kind of like when the [trash truck] comes and slams the dumpster onto the ground when they’re done emptying it or a transformer [exploding],’ Farmer told the Statesman.
‘Then the second time it happened, I was like, ‘Woah, that’s a little weird,” Farmer added.
Farmer described the truck explosion as an almost cinematic experience.
‘It exploded a little bit, almost like in the movies, not like a huge explosion like atomic, but it engulfed more about 20 seconds after [the man] was removed from the vehicle,’ Farmer continued.
He added that he believed the police officers involved in the man’s rescue are heroes.
‘Those cops…there’s no doubt about it – they risked their lives and they’re heroes. There’s no doubt about it,’ Farmer said.
Assistant Chief of the Austin Police Department Robin Henderson agreed and later took to Twitter to congratulate the officers and give them a token for their heroics.
‘Officers Pineda and Carrera received a chief’s coin of recognition for their heroic actions yesterday, in saving a man’s life from the vehicle fire,’ Henderson tweeted. ‘Please join me in recognizing these two for their quick-thinking and bravery! #OneAustinSaferTogether’
According to the Patch, Joseph Chacon, police chief, also commended the officers for their bravery.
‘Despite the danger, they rushed in and saved a man’s life,’ Chacon said. ‘These are the guardians of our community. Thank you, officers Pineda and Carrera!’
The condition of the injured man is not known.