COTTLEVILLE, Mo. – The quick actions of Cottleville firefighters saved a man's life Tuesday night.
Sixty-three-year-old Tom Shivley was trapped inside a burning car on Hunters Pointe. Firefighters had to break out the back windows to rescue him.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. as Shivley sat unconscious in his car, which was nearly fully engulfed in flames.
"When they approached the vehicle, it was full of smoke and they broke the windows and as the smoke started to lift they saw a man in the driver seat and their quick actions to enter the car and pull him out," said Skio Stephens.
Family members of the victim and residents commend the first responders and hail them, heroes, while authorities say they were only doing what they were trained to do.
"A crowd came to help but was too scared to get near the car but when firefighters came they took care of everything," said Maria Christodoulu.
"We trained every day for situations like this. These guys will tell you they are not heroes this is in the line of duty and this is what they do," said Stephens.
Shane Shivley says his Uncle Tom had a medical condition which left him unconscious while the car was running. "He went into a diabetic coma. He fell asleep and had his foot was on the gas pedal and his car could not take it. His car eventually blew up and melted the siding," said Shane.
The flames quickly spread to the house where Tom lives with his 90-year-old mother who was not a home at the time. Toms' family members say he is alive because of the quick actions of the Cottleville Fire Protection District and St. Charles County Ambulance District.
We’re told the Shivley suffered smoke inhalation but did not receive any burns. Tom is in ICU at the hospital, heavily sedated according to his family.
They’re asking the community to pray for his recovery.