Off-duty fireman saves life in fiery I-271 crash

Photo courtesy WKYC

(CLEVELAND) An off-duty Lake County firefighter was riding on I-271 with his two teenage boys when he witnessed the crash of two semi-trucks and his instincts immediately kicked in.

"He was obviously trapped and was not going to be able to free himself, so I broke out the window, the front windshield, got the seat belt off, got his feet untangled," says J.P. Michalak of North Royalton. "At that point I was starting to feel a little bit of heat."

Before the cab burst into flames, Michalak pulled the man to safety while his teenage son, Brent, recorded the whole heroic event.

"You are a hero, Dad," Brent told him.

The Michalaks weren't even supposed to be anywhere near the crash but, looking for gas, the GPS took them in a roundabout way onto I-271.

"I believe in divine intervention," says JP about the fortuitous route he took to put him in the lifesaving path of the accident.

The driver of the semi was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

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