An Athens-Clarke County police officer saves a man from a car fire on Aug. 18. (Credit: YouTube)

Body camera captures officer saving man from car fire

A Georgia police officer is being hailed as a hero after he saved a man from a burning car — and his body camera caught the risky move.

A voice on a 911 call tells dispatchers “this car’s about to blow up,” and Officer Dan Whitney is sent to a wreck on Highway 29 about 3 a.m. Aug. 18.

An accident left the car engulfed in flames against a large tree, according to the video police shared on YouTube.

The man called 911 about an SUV on fire in front of his house. He told operators he was pretty sure someone was still inside, but that he wouldn’t go near the car.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry, it’s going to blow up,” he says as Whitney drives toward the scene of the crash.

The body camera footage takes the viewer along as the officer runs without hesitation toward the trapped man hanging his head and left arm out of the rear passenger window.

“I’ve got an entrapment,” Whitney yells into his radio.

Whitney grabs his fire extinguisher and tries to put out the fire. Then he calls out to the neighbor’s house to “get a garden hose.”

Choosing instead to get the man out, Whitney abandons the extinguisher and starts working to free the man.

The impact of the accident bent the vehicle's frame, and all of the doors were jammed shut, so Whitney bent the door frame back enough to pull the man through the small rear window.

An explosion under the hood heard about 2:54 on the video knocked off the officer’s hat and camera. The view spins as if the camera is dangling and Whitney can be heard saying, “Get him down by the road.”

The view stabilizes at the end of the 3-minute and 25-second clip, showing the man hurt, but alive on the ground.

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