An unusual act of bravery has been reported from Walbury, Connecticut when a teenager helped save a mother and her three children from a burning SUV.
18-year-old Justin Gavin was on his way to Walgreens in Waterbury, Connecticut when he saw a small SUV on fire drive by him. Even as other drivers honked at it, Gavin joined in, yelling at the car to stop. “I’m yelling, ‘Stop the car! Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire!’” he said.
But the car didn’t stop and Gavin had to chase it and when it finally did stop, he helped those inside it. He dragged the female driver out, and also saved her three children aged 1, 4, and 9. The youngest was still in a car seat, but he managed. He said he had been scared and even wondered if the car was going to explode, but still, he made sure he would help them out.
“It kind of got scary because I didn’t know whether I was going to be able to get everyone out in time,” he said. “And luckily, I did.”
Shortly after he rescued the family, the car was fully on fire and the firefighters had to put out the flames, but the wreckage looked like a terrifying image.
“It made me realize life is short,” the hero said. He said he hoped someone would do for him if the need arose. “I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out. I guess my instincts took over.”
The Waterbury Police Department recognized his act of bravery with a challenge coin, which they gave to him during a small ceremony that they shared on Facebook on Wednesday. “September 9th 2020 – Chief Fernando Spagnolo thanks Justin Gavin (age 18) for helping to save a mother and her three children from a burning car,” the video caption reads. “Great job Justin!”
September 9th 2020 – Chief Fernando Spagnolo thanks Justin Gavin (age 18) for helping to save a mother and her three children from a burning car.
Great job Justin!
Posted by Waterbury Police Department on Wednesday, September 9, 2020
“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and for that family that you saved,” Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said in the clip.
The video was viewed thousands of times and it got 31,000 reactions and 1,300 comments, what an amazing show of love towards strangers by Gavin, in a society which is tearing itself up on race and color.