CT teen saves lives of mom, 3 children by pulling them from a burning car

by Jordyn Pair · Sep 15th, 2020 3:31 pm

Last Updated Sep 15th, 2020 at 11:48 pm

A Connecticut teenager is being hailed as a hero after he rescued a mother and three children from a burning vehicle.

Justin Gavin, 18, was walking to his local Walgreens when he saw a car on fire and drivers attempting to alert the woman driving the car that her vehicle was ablaze. When the mother could not stop, Gavin said he chased down the burning car to help them escape.

"I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out," Gavin said. "I guess my instincts took over."

The car had stopped by the time Gavin reached the vehicle. He opened the car door and helped the woman out of the driver's seat before also pulling three children — ages 9, 4, and 1 — in the backseat to safety.

"It kind of got scary because I didn't know whether I was going to be able to get everyone out in time. And luckily, I did," Gavin said.

Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo awarded Gavin with a "challenge coin" to honor his courageous act.

"I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved," said Spagnolo.

Gavin said that the experience was inspiring and changed his perspective on police officers.

"It made me realize life is short," Gavin said.


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