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Off-Duty Officer Pulls Man From Burning Car On The 405 [UPDATED]

Photo by J.D.S. via Shutterstock
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Here's a heroic Christmas tale that will brighten your morning: An off-duty police officer saved a man's life yesterday after pulling him from a burning car.

Officer Don Thompson, who is a member of the LAPD's bomb squad, was driving to work on the 405 when he witnessed a Mercedes losing control and crashing into the center divider, according to City News Service. Thinking quickly, Thompson pulled over, got out of his car and jumped the median to get to the scene. When he arrived at the burning vehicle, he found a 72-year-old man slumped over the steering wheel and unresponsive. Thompson sprang into action, cutting the driver's seat belt with a pocket knife and pulling the man from the car as the flames inched closer.

"It doesn't feel real when you're doing something like that," Thompson told NBC 4. "You have to do something and save someone's life or you're going to watch someone burn to death alive and you just have to do what you have to do."

In the process, Thompson suffered first and second degree burns on his arms, but as he was starting to get overwhelmed by the flames, two other motorists reached in and helped Thompson with the daring rescue.

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"He only had 10 to 15 seconds to be saved, and just out of the grace of God we had some good Samaritans there and he made it." Thompson said.

The driver is expected to survive, thanks to Thompson's badass bravery.

UPDATE 1 P.M.: KTLA is reporting that the driver that Thompson saved has been arrested on suspicion of DUI. The unidentified 72-year-old man was observed weaving across lanes on the 405 before crashing into the median.

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