Rescue Tools Salesman Extricates La. Woman

A rescue tools salesman used his own merchandise to extricate a woman from a burning car on Oct. 13, according to WBRZ-TV.

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Chris Barrios, who works for TNT Rescue Tools, was near Sorrento while en route to a fire department in Bossier City to sell equipment -- including the "jaws of life" -- when he witnessed the crash.

Laura Hall, 21, drove off I-10 and hit a tree, causing her car to catch fire and trapping her inside, Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot told the news station. She was apparently distracted while on her cell phone when she drove off the road.

"I saw smoke up in the distance and didn't know what it was. It was right across the bridge and everyone had come to a stop," Barrios told the station. "Right on the side of the road wrapped around a tree was a car on fire.

"I went over there to see what I could do. Everyone out there help me pull the tools and hook everything up."

Other witnesses were already on the scene with fire extinguishers in hand, but the blaze continued to rage.

"It was just so hot and they couldn't extinguish it," Theriot said.

Barrios was able to use the spreader's tips to pull the dashboard up to free Hall's legs. When she was pulled out of the car, her boots were on fire.

She was transported by helicopter to the hospital and was listed in critical condition following the incident. Theriot said she wouldn't have been alive if not for Barrios' quick thinking.

"I'm not a hero; I was just doing my job. The heroes were the good Samaritans out there in their business suits and ties that pulled over to help do all of that stuff," Barrios said. "I was just in the right place at the right time with the equipment to get the car open."