On September 8, 2021, Margarita Medina pulled into her local gas station when her vehicle slammed into a propane tank filling station. The propane tank exploded into a fire, trapping Margarita inside her car.
The fire prevented her from getting out through the driver's seat door, and the passenger door was blocked by a cement pole. Bystanders gathered around and tried to help as much as possible. The heat from the fire was so intense that it prevented anyone from getting close to the car.
The situation was dire as the propane tank or vehicle could explode at any moment. Would-be rescuers looked for other options but could not find anything.
For 2 long minutes, Margarita struggled in her car as she attempted to free herself. The fire continued to grow in intensity and heat. The deadly smoke entered the vehicle and began to overcome Margarita.
Finally, someone found a metal object and was able to break the rear window. The rescuers, which included Richard Montejano, were now finally able to pull the back door open.
In the nick of time, they pulled Margarita out of the car and got her to safety.
The fire department arrived on scene and was able to extinguish the fire and treat Margarita’s injuries, which were minimal.
Thanks to Richard and these brave men, Margarita was unharmed in the face of a deadly fire.
In LA County, we are in our cars for a sizable portion of our lives. When rush hour hits, we know that it can take hours to get to our destination. Carrying an emergency kit in our cars is just as important as the ones we have in our houses.
Though this fire was under dire circumstances, other times we can plan and pack accordingly. Pack high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications and important documents or information you may need.
For 18 years we have honored Hometown Heroes in our community who have stepped up when there was a need and a call for help. Do you know someone like that? A local hero, someone who provided first-aid, saved a drowning person or even helped someone a burning car?
Nominate them for our 18th annual Hometown Hero Award!