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Trapped man escapes blaze nearly unscathed after good Samaritans pull him from vehicle

HOUSTON – Two men are being praised for their actions after a harrowing rescue in northwest Houston.

According to authorities, the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday on Antoine Drive at Highway 249.

Deputies said a man – believed to be in his 60s - was headed southbound when he hit a pole and bounced off another pole before ending up in the intersection.

The impact caused the man’s vehicle to burst into flames, and two witnesses who were nearby jumped into action.

“All I hear is ‘skirrrtt’ and then I hear a ‘boom,’” said Dezmond Gregory. “I turn around and from there I just see the car spinning and then it turned into serious rapid flames. (As) soon as I saw that, I literally just ran as fast as I could across the street.”

Gregory and another witness, Curtis Brown, rushed to pull the man out of his vehicle and get him to safety.

"We literally -- as fast as we could -- grabbed him out and ran him across the street,” Gregory said. “We took him across the street to the nearest parking lot to lay him down and to check on him (to) make sure he's fine, talking (and) responsive. From there, we called an ambulance … and we just sat with him until (the ambulance arrived). Keep him talking. Keep him active with us. Make sure he's not fading off anywhere."

Brown said he just thankful they were in the right place at the right time. 

"I give (God) the praise for (the rescue) because … he (allowed) that time to get him out,” Brown said. “I don’t take no credit for it, man. I just thank god I was able to give me the strength to do it. I am just thankful that I was at the right place at the right time to help somebody."

Gregory said he jumped in because it was the right thing to do and he doesn’t feel special for doing it.

"I don’t feel any type of way man,” Gregory said. “I'm just trying to help. (I’m) not out here looking to help like that, but if it comes man, I'm gonna do what's needed to be done. That's the same thing I want done for me and he's an elderly man. If that was my father or grandfather, I want the same thing done for him."

Authorities congratulated the men for their heroic actions.

“I applaud them for being good citizens of Harris County to help their fellow man," said Sgt. Shannon Pugh, with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. “Like I said, they did a very good job. (I am) proud of them."

The man escaped the blaze relatively unscathed, with only minor, non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.