By Associated Press - Friday, September 11, 2020

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - An 18-year-old Waterbury man is being honored as a hero after pulling a family of four from a burning motor vehicle.

Justin Gavin tells the Republican-American newspaper that he had just stepped off a bus Wednesday when the SUV passed him with flames shooting from underneath.

The vehicle, which had lost its brakes, came to rest in a nearby parking lot and Gavin ran to the scene and pulled a 1-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old from the backseat.

He then helped the driver unfasten her seat belt and escorted her away from the fiery vehicle as it burst into flames.

“I said (to the driver), ‘Don’t thank me,’” Gavin said. “It’s just something I did, because what’s the point of letting somebody lose their life?”

Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo met with Gavin later in the day and awarded him a special coin to thank him for his heroism.

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