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Construction workers pull woman from burning car

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SALT LAKE CITY — Five construction workers are being called heroes for rescuing a woman from a burning car. It caught fire after careening down a hillside near Ensign Peak.

"They pulled her out of the burning vehicle and they are heroes," said Salt Lake Fire spokesman Jasen Asay.

Joe Jessop and his crew of four other men were framing a house on the top of Churchill Drive around 7:40 a.m. when a vehicle went off scenic Churchill Drive, near 1000 North and 100 East, rolled down a steep embankment, over Sandhurst Drive, and continued rolling down a second embankment.

"It just barreled over the curb and went off the hill," he said.

All five construction workers then followed the same path the wrecked vehicle took, running down the steep and rough terrain, to get to the burning car.

"There were flames around the motor and starting the grass on fire all around," he said.

They pulled her out of the burning vehicle and they are heroes.

–- Jasen Asay, Salt Lake Fire

The Salt Lake City Fire Department says the construction workers used their hammers to pry open the driver's-side door and pulled the 33-year-old woman from the burning vehicle. The woman, whose name was not immediately released, regained consciousness and began to scream because the fire was near her legs at that point, and moving quickly. Crews arrived and transported her to the hospital in serious condition. According Asay, her only injuries were a seatbelt burn and singed hair.

"If we would have come any later she would have been dead for sure," Jessop said.

The driver was the only person in the vehicle.

Firefighters are calling the construction workers heroes, but one of them told KSL he's not a hero, just a hard-working American.

"Doing what we can, trying to help out," Jessop said.

The vehicle fire started a grass fire that burned about an acre and could be seen from I-15. Crews quickly extinguished it.

The investigation into what caused the vehicle to go off the side of the road was on-going Friday.

Contributing: Pat Reavy


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