Off-duty SCDNR officer rescues family from car fire in Berkeley County


An off-duty SCDNR officer rescued a family from a car fire in Berkeley County. 

Officials say Berkeley County SCDNR Officer Sgt. Thomas Spann smashed the windows of a wrecked car that was on fire near Pineville on Monday. 

Spann then helped the passengers, a mother and three small children, get safely out of the vehicle. 

"Sgt. Spann’s preparedness and decisive actions that day may very well have saved the lives of the individuals in that car, but for him and the other dedicated and highly-skilled men and women who wear the green uniform in the Palmetto State, it was just another day on the best job they’ll ever have," SCDNR officials said in a statement. 

Spann was off-duty and in his personal car when he came across the car accident on Muddville Road.

"Sgt. Spann always keeps his Sheriff's Department radio in the vehicle with him, even when off-duty," SCDNR officials said."Taking immediate control of the accident scene, he quickly radioed the Sheriff's Department dispatcher for backup and got out to see if he could help."

According to authorities, the car involved in the accident had hit a tree and had caught fire.

"With the blaze growing, the passengers and the driver were trapped in the car, and none of the doors would open," officials said. 

Spann used a tire iron provided by a bystander to smash the windows of the car and helped the passengers get out safely. 

"Within minutes of getting the last child out, the car was fully engulfed in flames," SCDNR officials said. "By that time, an ambulance dispatched to the scene had arrived and EMS was able to take over the care of the passengers. Congratulations on a job extremely well-done, for Sgt. Thomas Spann!"

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