Man recovers from burns to 20 percent of his body after bystanders pulled him to safety

Posted at 8:55 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 04:18:03-04

If you came face to face with a burning car, would you risk your life to save the people inside?  It's a tough situation to think about, but a group of men in Fort Pierce didn't even hesitate. 

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The heroes are regular guys, who happened to drive up to the accident, but their actions were nothing short of heroic.

The group of five men went in not once, but twice to pull people out of a burning car at the intersection of Kings Highway and Indrio Road in Fort Pierce last month. 

"I don't know who was the one who dove in first," said Joe Shaddock, a citizen hero. "Their hair was on fire."

"Definitely afraid, but you can't act off of fear," said Jonathan Rivera, a citizen hero. 

"Every night, I go to bed and wonder if they are OK," said Ton Kobbe, another one of the men who jumped in to help. 

They pulled Charles Gable Jr. and his cousin out of the car. 

"I remember driving north on Kings Highway and I woke up in the hospital bed in Miami," Gable told us on the phone from his hospital bed. 

He was not able to be at the ceremony, as he is suffering burns to 20 percent of his body. 

"Thanks to these gentlemen for being so brave and so giving, because if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have anything and my wife would be a widow," he said. "I'm glad we still have brave people like this in the world."

When asked why they would risk their lives, their answers were short and sweet. 

"I'd like to think they would do the same for me," said Robert Grezech, who jumped in to help. 

"If you were in the car and it was on fire, would you want someone to hop in and save you?" asked Tony Kobbe "It's kinda a simple question you don't have to think about it."

Firefighters said there was another man who jumped in to help. He's a retired volunteer firefighter and said he didn't want the recognition.  

Gable said once he feels up to it, he will personally thank his heroes in person. 

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