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Southern Baptist teenagers save Tennessee man from burning car


SODDY-DAISY, Tenn. (BP)–Two Southern Baptist teenagers saved a 90-year-old Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. man’s life Sept. 8 when they pulled him from his burning vehicle, according to the city’s police chief.

Aaron Kopowski, his sister Emily, and their friend Amber May were driving to a high school football game when they were caught in heavy traffic.

May noticed smoke coming from Baxter Gann’s 1990 Ford truck ahead of them. As the smoke turned into sparks, May told Aaron to jump out and tell the man to pull over.

“I guess he didn’t know his truck was even smoking,” Aaron said.

Just as the two girls helped the crippled man from his truck and got him near their car, his vehicle burst into flames, Aaron said. Several passersby also caught in the traffic noticed the flames and called 911.

Members of the Soddy-Daisy Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the fire within minutes.

Gann’s truck was totaled. The fire, possibly caused by a leak in his gas tank, could have killed him, but the teens saved his life, authorities said. Having a broken foot, he would have had a hard time getting out of his truck on his own, he said.

“They were really nice to do this for me. They couldn’t have been any nicer,” Gann said. “They even stayed with me until the wrecker got there.”

Soddy-Daisy Police Chief Allen Branum and a member of the volunteer fire department are going to present the teens with plaques during a pep rally at Rhea County High School, where the students attend.

“We are going to honor them in recognition of their heroism,” Branum said. “They need to be recognized for doing such a good thing in our community.”

The Kopowskis are members of First Baptist Church, Dayton, Tenn.
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This story first appeared in The Herald News and is used with permission.

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