Family trapped in blazing car as hero off-duty firefighter steps in to save them

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An off-duty fireman has been hailed a "hero" and "legend" after rescuing a family from a burning car on a busy road.

Fireman and paramedic Ed Durante was off-duty when he tackled the blaze and jumped into action as he saved a family of five from the car fire.

The Ivybridge man, who is also a former master butcher was quick to praise others and the teamwork involved, including another off-duty officer from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, reports PlymouthLive.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service wrote in a since-deleted tweet earlier this evening following an incident on the southbound A38 which saw the road closed as firefighters tackled a massive blazing car following a car crash.

"He has single-handedly rescued a family of five from a burning vehicle!

"A true £Hero and £Legend. Fire control salutes you, Ed".

Ed Durante – who describes himself in his Twitter bio as the On-call T(emp) Watch Manager with the service and a Paramedic with South Western Ambulance Service Trust – was modest about the accolade.

He replied to the kind praise: "Thank you DSFireUpdates. Important to mention another off duty Firefighter from CornwallFRS who also rescued casualties.

"So lucky to have large array of off-duty medical clinicians and a police officer stop to assist with the treatment and triage of casualties also."

The fire service has said the incident, which took place at 4.06pm at West Haldon Hill, saw three fire appliances – two from Exeter Middlemoor and one from Danes Castle – attend.

Sources have told DevonLive that one person was taken to Derriford Hospital while two others have been taken to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The area manager and head of response and partnerships for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Gerald Taylor, thanked all of those who helped during the incident.

He said: "We’d like to thank all who helped at the incident and hope those who were in the car make a speedy recovery. It’s also a timely reminder of the need to take care when driving in heavy rain."

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson has this evening released details of the incident.

They said: "Police were called to reports of a serious single-vehicle road traffic collision on the A38 near Chudleigh just after 4pm today [27 June].

"The vehicle was reported to be on fire at the scene. The collision was also attended by the fire service and ambulance crews. The A38 was closed in both directions for a time to allow emergency services to manage the scene but the northbound carriageway was reopened at around 6.15pm.

"Five casualties have been taken to hospital, two with serious injuries and three with less serious injuries.

"If you witnessed the collision, have any information or dashcam footage that could help the investigation, please email [email protected] or call 101, quoting log 646 of Sunday 27 June."

  • Family
  • Fire

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