A Fairfax County Police officer who previously worked as a firefighter is clear for duty again after suffering burns while pulling a man from a flaming car.
The night of April 24, Officer Gershon Ramirez came across a Toyota Camry in flames after it struck two other vehicles and the jersey wall on the Outer Loop of the Beltway near the Interstate 66 overpass. Everyone was out of their cars and seemed OK, Ramirez said, but suddenly the driver of the Camry jumped back in and locked the doors.
Ramirez broke the driver’s side window, but flames coming out the window prevented that approach. He broke another window with no luck, either.
The man then climbed out through the broken window but tried immediately to get back in again.
“That’s when I grabbed him as best I could,” Ramirez said.
The man was still on fire, his clothing smoldering, when Ramirez pulled him out of the car. That’s when he burned his hand, he said.
“I was determined not to let him go back in that vehicle,” Ramirez said.
Two other officers and a firefighter arrived to help and finally subdued the man. He and Ramirez were taken to a hospital to be treated for burns.
Before becoming a Fairfax County Police officer nine years ago, Ramirez was a firefighter on Long Island.