Off-duty deputy risks life, prevents gas station explosion

An off-duty deputy in Fort Bend County prevented an explosion at a gas station after a truck caught fire at one of the pumps.

HOUSTON - A Fort Bend County Precinct 2 deputy constable is being hailed as a hero after his brazen act of bravery that was captured on video.

Deputy Philip Balthazar was off duty when he pulled into a Chevron gas station off 610 and Cullen Boulevard last month.

Within seconds of his arrival, he was confronted by a man who said his truck that was parked right next to a fuel tank was on fire.

“And as he started running towards his truck, I walked up behind him and told him to try to get it in neutral so we could get it away from here,” said Balthazar. 

That’s when, despite the danger, Balthazar did something amazing. Somehow he summoned the strength to push the truck away from the pumps.

The entire engine ignited seconds later.

Despite the fact that he could have been seriously hurt, Balthazar said it never entered his mind.

“I just saw a situation and I was trying to do what I could do,” said Balthazar.  

Firefighters put out the flames and no one was injured.  

Balthazar’s boss thinks his deputy’s actions were pretty special.

“Definitely some plaques and some handshakes," said Constable Gary Majors. “Maybe a little lunch or something and cupcakes. But he definitely deserves something for that.”

Balthazar who’s been on the force for 25 years, see’s things differently.

“I think any police officer would have done the same thing.” he said.


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