Virginia Woman, 19, Lifts Burning Truck to Save Dad

burning truck

A quick-thinking 19-year-old Virginia woman is being honored for her heroism after saving her dad’s life when he was pinned underneath his burning truck.

The scary scene happened in Virginia the day after Thanksgiving.  Eric Heffelmire was working on his GMC truck in the garage when his jack slipped after he removed one of the front wheels. The mishap caused a gas spill and explosion in the garage which also contained a bunch of propane containers.

Heffelmire ended up being pinned underneath his car for about 10 minutes as the garage caught fire. His daughter, 19-year-old Charlotte, found him pinned beneath his now burning truck.

“Pinned me across right here on my shoulder,” Eric Heffelmire said.

Charlotte, an Air Force Academy student, didn’t think twice about actually lifting the truck off of her dad to save him.

“I lifted it [the truck] the first time, he said ‘OK, you almost got it. Finally managed to get it out, it was some crazy strength, pulled him out, ” Heffelmire said. “I felt like I didn’t lift anything. I really felt like I was lifting a piece of paper.”

Her Dad attributes her superhuman action to “adrenaline” and “not wanting to see me burn to death.”

After saving her dad, she drove the burning truck out of the garage. She knew the gas tank could explode and didn’t want it near the house.

There’s more to the story, too. After she closed the garage to contain the fire, and then went into the house. She carried out her sister’s baby while simultaneously getting the rest of the family out. Charlotte suffered burns to her feet and hands. 

Charlotte recently accepted a Citizen Lifesaving Award from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue department for her heroism. 

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington
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