A Flowood woman is being considered a hero after rescuing a man paralyzed from the waist down from a burning vehicle in Dallas, Texas.
Tammi Arrington was helping a friend move to a new home in a Dallas neighborhood on the morning of September 5 when she saw a car smoking on the road in front of the residence.
“I kind of decided to take a moment and drink my coffee instead of going to run errands with my friend that just moved,” Arrington explained. “I just happened to see a little bit of the back end of a car in his driveway parked on the road… As I glanced further into the window, I saw the front left tire on fire and the hood was on fire.”
Arrington recounted during an interview on Good Things with Rebecca Turner that she immediately grabbed her phone to call 911 before traveling to the front yard. At first, Arrington believed the vehicle was vacant as all of the doors were closed, but quickly saw a man sitting in the driver’s seat.
“There was no thought behind it. I just threw my phone in the grass and I ran to the car and I opened the door,” Arrington said. “I looked at him thinking he was in shock.”
The 42-year-old mother then prompted the man — 58-year-old Dennis Brown — to vacate the car. Brown responded that he was physically unable to exit the vehicle and pointed at his wheelchair in the back seat.
“By that point, it was really smoking on the inside near his left foot,” she said. “The wheelchair wasn’t like one of the hospital folding ones, it was one you have to disassemble. For him to be able to get it in the car and get in and out, he has to assemble it on the side of the car. It takes a while.”
Arrington continued, saying that she then began to take out all of the parts of the wheelchair before removing Brown from the front seat of the vehicle and transporting him to the garage.
“Once the firetruck got there, we were behind the garage door and I went to check on if they were taking care of things and get [Brown] some water,” she explained. “I just sat there behind the garage door patting his back. He was still in shock.”
She added that the two have been in constant contact since the incident, later learning that Brown has been paralyzed after being shot while being robbed at the age of 22.
“He said he rents this car from Enterprise a couple of times a month, I think. It’s a special car because he needs to have controls to where his hands can hit the gas pedal and brakes to operate the vehicle and have some independence,” Arrington said. “He said that he felt like it was going to give out that morning and he just so happened to pull over.”
Continue watching the full interview below.