'San Antonio at its finest': Heroes save man from burning truck

Local hero talks about fiery rescue

SAN ANTONIO – Video of San Antonians putting their own lives at risk to save a stranger from a burning truck has gone viral.

Some people are even saying the rescuers are the best of San Antonio.

Bill Thompson, the man in the cowboy hat in cell phone video of the rescue, watched a charter bus slam into a pickup truck on San Antonio’s east side Friday morning on I-37.

“When I had reached in [to the truck] to grab him, at first my hand got burned pretty bad,” said Thompson. “My leg, my pants had started to catch on fire.”

RELATED: Witness describes watching Good Samaritans rescue man from burning truck

 Thompson and several others rushed to help, despite their danger to them.

“You can't allow the man just to be in that truck and burn to death,” said Thompson. “When we got the door open, he was moaning, and he was already on fire. If I didn't do anything, I would hear that the rest of my life.”

Thompson, and another man, Ali Madlani, stayed with the man until an ambulance arrived.

Thompson, a husband, and father of two doesn't use social media. He was unaware of the comments people have been leaving about him and other rescuers.

Comments like:

“Wow, that's incredible. With all the hate going on in our country right now, it's nice to see good people out there helping strangers. Bravo!”

And:

“San Antonio at its finest. Thank you guys!”

Thompson said he did what he hopes people will do for him if he ever needed help.

“Your first responders, like your policeman, your fire, your E.M.S guys, that’s what they do for a living,” said Thompson. “What about the policeman who die in the line of duty. Those people are real heroes because they put themselves in that position, and that's what they get up and go to work to do. I’m just a carpenter.”

© 2017 KENS-TV


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