UPDATE: Good Samaritans rescue couple from burning car

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UPDATED Thursday, June 5, 2014 --- 6:16 p.m.

An elderly couple in Beloit is lucky to be alive today after car troubles took a turn for the worst. They say they owe their lives to complete strangers willing to risk their own lives to save them.

It's more than just a story of people being in the right place at the right time, it's the story of heroes taking action when they knew there wasn't time to wait for 911.

"It was a real life threatening experience but i was happy to help them," says Brendon Golden.

He was walking along the river with his girlfriend when he saw a car stopped in the middle of the road.

"Just seeing the look on her face," Brendon says.

Inside the car were Jim and Shirley Fregeau, an elderly couple coming back from blood tests at the hospital. They say their car just stopped. Locking them inside.

"When I opened his hood his hood was on fire," Brendon adds.

That's when he knew he needed to get the couple out fast, but couldn't do it alone.

"I was trying to stop anybody coming down the street and thank God this couple stopped."

Kerry and Jenell Mann were coming home from lunch and saw Brendon waving his arms.

"You could just see in his eyes he was frantic and there was definitely something wrong," Kerry remembers.

Before his wife could even stop the car, Kerry jumped out to help save the couple.

"My wife Jenn saw there was smoke coming out and there was something leaking underneath and there was actually fire on the ground."

That's when Brendon started punching at the window trying to figure out some way to free the couple from the burning car.

"As hard as I can just for the moment and it was hard because the lady was in front of me and I didn't want the glass to hit her," Brendon says.

Kerry was able to find a rock and started breaking out the window, cutting up his arm in the process.

"We looked in and there was two oxygen tanks in the back, the woman was on oxygen...You see signs on those just not to smoke around them, let alone they're in a car 3 feet from flames," Kerry says.

The strangers knew the car was a ticking time bomb, but didn't give up on the rescue.

"Yeah, I didn't want that on my conscience," says Brendon.

"I'm helping these people and risking my life, and I thought of my kids right away and then I thought, if something were to happen, they would have known that their dad and I did something special," Jenell adds.

The three of them were able to pull the couple and the oxygen tanks out of the car to safety

"Literally a few seconds after there was just flames coming up and the whole front end of the car was just burning up," says Kerry.

The Manns have four daughters and say this is good example for them of doing what's right, and staying calm in dangerous situations.

The Fregeaus called their rescuers this morning and thanked them for everything they did. They say, they're so thankful Brendon stopped because so many others just kept driving.


UPDATED Thursday, June 5, 2014 --- 11:35 a.m.

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- Two bystanders came to the aid of an elderly couple trapped in a burning car in Beloit.

Fire department reports say Kerry Mann and Brendon Golden had to break out the car windows to get the couple out of the car, which had stalled Wednesday afternoon.

Mann says he saw a man waving people down near a Beloit intersection where black smoke was coming from the engine of the couple's car and they were unable to open the doors. Mann says he noticed an oxygen tank in the back seat.

The Beloit Daily News says Mann grabbed a rock from the side of the road and broke the car window, cutting his hand in the process. Then Mann and Golden were able to help the couple out of the vehicle.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 ---10:59 p.m.

The Beloit Fire Department says they responded to a call of two people trapped in a car on fire.

They say Jim Fregeau and his wife were traveling on Henry Avenue when their car suddenly stopped running. The car was pushed to the side by Brendon Golden when he saw flames coming from the front of the car.

The husband and wife were unable to open the windows or unlock the doors. Golden along with another bystander, Kerry Mann, were able to break the windows and get the couple out of the vehicle safely.

Authorities say neither Fregeau nor his wife was injured thanks to the fast thinking and actions of both Golden and Kerry.

Kerry did receive some minor injuries but was treated at the scene by Beloit Fire Department Paramedics.

Fire officials are commending Mann and Golden for their heroic actions and say if it wasn't for these two men the outcome could have been worse.