Hose wielding neighbors take action to help save woman trapped in burning car

Posted at 2:59 PM, Sep 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 06:19:49-04

Norfolk, Va. - Quick thinking neighbors helped take action to extinguish flames after a car crashed into three cars and a house early Sunday morning in Norfolk.

The accident happened shortly before 12:45 am in the 1200 block of E. Ocean View Ave.

Investigators say that a 33-year-old woman was driving a Mercury Grand Marquis at a high rate of speed when she hit one moving car, two parked cars, and a house before the Mercury caught fire.

Photos: Vehicles in Hampton Roads buildings

The Mercury and the first car were both traveling westbound on E. Ocean View Ave. The Mercury sideswiped the moving car, then lost control and left the roadway.

The Mercury then struck two parked cars and a concrete foundation of a home.


The Mercury immediately caught fire, with the woman trapped inside.

Dave Potvin, who lives in the home that the woman crashed into, says he heard a man screaming for water shortly after the crash. He says he grabbed a fire extinguisher and his neighbor grabbed a hose, only to find that others were already taking action too.

"I come out other people are shooting it with fire extinguishers the car is surrounded by people putting the fire out ," he says. "Nothing is going through my mind except put this fire out."

The group helped  control the fire until the Fire Department arrived.

After the woman was extracted from the car by the Jaws of Life, she was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

There were no passengers in the Mercury, and no other injuries reported.

No charges have been filed, as the crash is still under investigation.