A Dallas man paralyzed from the waist down who was rescued from a burning car over the weekend got a chance to thank the woman who pulled him to safety.
Dennis Brown told Fox affiliate KDFW that he’s driven the rental car, which was equipped with hand control, “several times” before the incident. After noticing that it “seemed like the car was about to give out” he realized the front end was engulfed in flames.
Brown, who was paralyzed after a gunman shot him when he was 22, told the outlet he was filled with panic when fortunately, a stranger rushed to his aid.
The Dallas Fire Department told PEOPLE in a statement that units were dispatched to the scene just after 9:40 a.m. after getting a 911 call about the car fire in front of a northwest Dallas home. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in “a short period of time,” and the cause is listed as an accident.
Investigators spoke with residents of the home where the car caught fire, who said someone “in that home saw the fire then ran out to help the man from the car,” according to the department’s statement.
He spoke with KDFW in the hopes of thanking the good Samaritan after forgetting to ask for her name. “I’d like to appreciate her for her heroic act,” he told the outlet. “She went into harm’s way to save me. Dragged me out. I’d like to thank her.”
Thankfully, her friend saw the story on KDFW, and eventually the station connected them both.
But Tammi Arrington, 42, told The New York Post that she doesn’t deserve all the credit.
“Any human response — I think if they saw that, they would have done the same thing,” said Arrington, who was visiting a friend in Texas when the incident unfolded.
According to the Post, Arrington was inside when she looked outside the front window and noticed the fire — and then “realized there was someone in there.”
Arrington dragged Brown out after he told her he couldn’t get out himself and got them away from the car until the fire department arrived and put out the flames, the outlet reported.
Brown intends to take Arrington and her friend out to dinner the next time she visits, along with Brown’s mother, Julia, per the Post.
When Arrington’s ID remained a mystery, Brown’s mother told KDFW that the woman “was his angel.”
“I cannot thank her enough,” she added.
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