Pair rescues 80-year-old woman from burning car

NINETY seconds was the difference between life and death for Grasstree Beach resident Shirley Trett.

Her car was engulfed by flames not long after two men pulled the 80-year-old free of the already burning vehicle.

One of those men was owner of Sarina Beach Mower Service Martin Van Der Kuur.

He'd been flagged down by another motorist last Tuesday and saw a vehicle on fire on Grasstree Rd.

A woman was still inside and smoke was pouring from the under the bonnet.

Mr Van Der Kuur sprinted to the car and pulled open the door.

"There were flames underneath her car already," he said.

"It was crackling and popping under the bonnet like something was going to go any second."

He tried to undo her seat belt but said he couldn't get near it. A second man had also pulled up.

"I screamed out grab a knife and he had a knife," Mr Van Der Kuur said.

The pair cut Mrs Trett free and pulled her from the vehicle.

This had all happened in about one minute, and about 30 seconds after she had been pulled from the car it was fully alight, Mr Van Der Kuur said.

While the danger of the situation crossed his mind, the alternative was unthinkable, he said.

"The other bloke didn't hesitate either."

The blaze started a grass fire and firefighters were on scene for 90 minutes extinguishing the flames.

Mrs Trett cannot give enough praise to the two "heroes" who rescued her.

She said she couldn't remember the incident, but has since been told about it.

"I think that they were very very brave. Not many people would enter a car in flames," she said.

"We're lucky to have that sort of person in our community."

The Daily Mercury would like to speak with the second man who helped save Mrs Trett's life.


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