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Minnesota hero uses bare hands to free driver of burning SUV

Guy Rips Open Door With Bare Hands to Save Driver From Burning Car


(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 Tuesday.

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 flames.

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."

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r_porterfield July 02 2014 at 12:28 PM

Bless this heroic man! So glad he was able to help the driver get out and live another day!

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1 reply
gramargo r_porterfield July 02 2014 at 6:05 PM

Good that he was big and strong.....I'd have been no help at all, other than for waving down some other vehicle, being smallish and elderly!

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jerimalibu July 02 2014 at 12:24 PM

Wow! Now that guy has determination! Bless his heart!

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jewel July 02 2014 at 1:34 PM

i pray something good happen to him--- wow..

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kayciaccio July 02 2014 at 1:43 PM

Kudos to Mr. Renning, happy Mr. Johannes is ok!!

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stengernc July 02 2014 at 1:37 PM

Obviously the cars they make today are made of cheap plastic and metal, but high marks for the actions to save another's life.

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RonRuthNik July 02 2014 at 12:29 PM

What, no manual unlock?? That's a suicide machine if it doesn't have that, and I doubt the feds would allow it. Something wrong with this story.

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4 replies
fox news July 02 2014 at 2:25 PM

Who's the MAN!!!

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rlmcanoe July 02 2014 at 4:13 PM

great job, right place right time

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bigcatdaddy July 02 2014 at 4:45 PM

While the man did a great job, the piece he pulled back was just two strips of metal. Todays cars are not built like the older cars. The metal is not as sturdy.

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1 reply
aspman07 bigcatdaddy July 03 2014 at 5:01 AM

Here you are yet again making foolish posts.

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soccer_sucks July 02 2014 at 10:09 PM

It was nice what he did.
But just becouse your car has lost power does not mean you cant unlock it.
Also it is not that hard to pull down that part of the door. Look at your own car or truck some time

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