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Alachua County Sheriff's deputy single-handedly rescues driver from burning Jeep

An Alachua County Sheriff's deputy rescued a man from this burning Jeep early Thursday morning. Provided photo.

An Alachua County Sheriff's deputy rescued a man from a burning Jeep by himself early Thursday morning after bystanders declined to help.

Deputy Adam Gargulak responded to a crashed car on 27th Place in Gainesville at 1:39 a.m. Video released by the sheriff's office Thursday shows the car already in flames when Gargulak pulled up.

The deputy grabbed his fire extinguisher and asked several bystanders if anyone was inside. When they didn't answer he did his best to extinguish the fire, according to an incident report released Thursday.

Gargulak wrote in his report that he removed a rim and tire and opened the door. The report says he was able to see a pair of legs through the smoke inside the car.

Gargulak wrote that he asked the bystanders to help him remove the driver, "but no one came to assist me."

He extinguished a small fire that reignited at the front of the car and then pushed his way through the airbags to the driver.

The report says the driver began moving and speaking incoherently. The report says he asked Gargulak what was going on and where he was.

Gargulak helped the driver remove his seatbelt and pulled him from the car as flames started to rise again.

Gargulak asked the man for his ID but, according to the report, was handed his credit card.

The deputy also wrote that he found a cold can of Natural Light beer inside the car. The report says the driver told EMS he was at a friend's house and had a few drinks.

The driver has been taken to a local hospital. No charges have been filed as of Thursday evening. Police say the crash is still under investigation.


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