BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Injured Buffalo Firefighter Norman Swarez has been on disability since February when he broke his leg on the job.
But this morning (June 5), he put his own pain aside to help a driver trapped in a burning vehicle that dangled over the Inbound 33.
The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m., right across the Street from his Humboldt Parkway home. Before emergency crews ever got to the scene, neighbors -- along with Swarez -- rushed to help the driver, who was trapped inside.
"I'm not thinking about 'Oh I'm injured.' I'm thinking this person needs to get out or might not survive," Swarez said.
Swarez' quick response may have aggravated his own condition, but the veteran firefighter is not worried.
Buffalo firefighter Jerry Johnson said, "He saw a car; he saw flames. 'Get the person out.' That's what he's thinking. And, he didn't have protective gear but got person out and dealt with whatever after that."
Police have not yet revealed the identity of the driver, or his condition, but firefighters are breathing a sigh of relief.
"It could have been a lot worse. That car was maybe two feet from going down onto the expressway," Johnson said.
"The debris could have come down, but even if it didn't hit anybody, it could have dangerously swerved and caused a calamity down there, so it was fortunate all the way around."
Republished with permission of WIVB-TV.