A 19-year-old is being called a hero after she lifted a pickup truck off her father and saved her family from a raging fire.
Eric Heffelmire, of Northern Virginia, was working on his truck inside his garage when a jack he was using to lift up the vehicle slipped. The truck came down on top of Heffelmire, pinning him to the ground and causing a huge fire.
“The minute the jack slipped, there was an almost instantaneous, real strong smell of gasoline, and then just, whoosh!” he told NBC News. Propane tanks inside of the garage began to burst into flame uncontrollably.
Thankfully, Heffelmire’s daughter Charlotte came to the rescue just in time. After realizing what happened, the teen immediately ran to the pick-up truck and used all the strength she had to lift the vehicle off her father. “I felt the weight shift, and I said, ‘You almost got it,’ and then it was just UGHHHHHHRRR, and suddenly I’m pulled out,” Eric Heffelmire said.
After realizing that the truck was moments from setting the entire house on fire, the 19-year-old once again jumped into the line of fire. She hopped into the driver seat and quickly drove the truck of the garage and a safe distance from the structure. She then used a garden hose to help bring down the flames until firefighters arrived.
Charlotte’s elderly grandmother and 3-year-old niece were able to get out of the home without injury, thanks in part to her quick thinking. Injuries sustained during the incident has kept Charlotte from returning to her studies at the Air Force Academy, but she is taking the setback in stride.
“If I can’t do any of the military branches, then probably just intelligence or government work,” she explained. “Right now I’m just healing up and making sure the family is OK.”