Minnesota hero uses bare hands to free
driver of burning SUV
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[July 02, 2014]
By Jonathan Kaminsky
(Reuters) - A Minnesota man used his bare
hands to pry open a passenger-side door of a burning sport utility
vehicle and save a trapped motorist from near-certain death, police said
The incident has left police marveling at the actions of Bob
Renning, 52, who - apparently fueled by a burst of adrenaline -
pried open the door of Minneapolis resident Michael Johannes's 2006
Chevrolet TrailBlazer on Sunday evening.
"To say his actions were heroic would be putting it lightly," said
Lieutenant Eric Roeske, spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol.
"He almost certainly saved Mr. Johannes from a horrible death."
Renning was driving along an interstate freeway at about 6:30 p.m.
CDT when he noticed the SUV on fire in a suburb north of
Minneapolis, Roeske said.
After motioning for Johannes to pull over, Renning approached the
burning vehicle, Roeske said.
Johannes, 51, tried to get out on his own, but the electrical system
was disabled and he could not unlock the doors, Roeske said.
That is when Renning bent open the top of the passenger door,
cleared the shattered glass from the window and pulled Johannes to
safety, Roeske said. Soon after, the truck was entirely engulfed in
[to top of second column]
Johannes escaped the incident with minor injuries, and the cause of
the fire is not yet clear, Roeske said.
"Vehicle fires get hot incredibly fast and oftentimes the
opportunity for rescue is very short," Roeske said. "It was a good
thing Mr. Renning was there and able to pry that door open."
(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; editing by Gunna
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