Home » Man Rescues Toddlers From Burning Car Before It Explodes

Man Rescues Toddlers From Burning Car Before It Explodes

by Nolan Hawk

A selfless Arizona man rescued a pair of toddlers from a burning car right before it exploded over Memorial Day weekend.

Sam Heiler, 30, who hails from Yuma, was heading on a holiday weekend trip with his wife, Melissa, on Thursday night, when they saw the car driving in front of them start smoking.

When the engine of the car caught fire, the car veered off the road and Heiler pulled over with them, as they were driving down a remote highway in Navajo County with sketchy phone service.

The parents of the children, who were a in the driver and passenger seats, immediately hopped out of the car, but when they reflexively shut the doors, the locks engaged.

With the keys still in the ignition, there was no way to get the the two little girls, aged two- and three-years-old, out of the back seat where they were trapped inside the burning vehicle.


Heiler said that the parents “were freaking out” and screaming as they ineffectually punched the windows with their bare hands.

“The girls were screaming, the parents were screaming, my wife was screaming—it was bad,” he said of the fire, which was getting larger by the second.

The father of the children panicked and attempted to shatter the back window with a rock as the flames spread throughout the hood of the vehicle, but fortunately, it failed to crack the glass, preventing the girls from being injured.

Heiler took over and broke a front window so he could open the door from the inside.

His wife said that worked to unbuckle one child, while the parents managed the restraints attached to the other one.

With both girls freed, they made a mad dash to where Heiler had parked 30 yards away, when the car combusted into flames.

He said that there was around 20 seconds from when the “fire spread from the engine block” to the interior of the vehicle.

“When the fire hit the fuel tank it made a legitimate fireball explosion,” Heiler detailed.

Without cell phone service, they waited until he could flag down another driver with an emergency light, and asked them to call emergency responders when they had signal, which was 25 miles down the road.

Tribal police and firefighters eventually arrived to put out the smouldering vehicle, and were forced to extinguish the spot fires that popped up in the Navajo County forest due to the delay.

Heiler and his wife were of two years, Melissa, were married in Tempe, Arizona on May 1, 2021. He proposed to her on a kayaking trip that she desperately wanted to go on.

Heiler got down on one knee when they got out to rest in at a scenic viewpoint, and then were greeted by family and friends who were gathered nearby to celebrate.

Related Videos

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More