MN air guardsman bends locked door to pull man from burning car

CNN/KARE
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 11:21am

A Minnesota man is grateful to be alive after a stranger pulled him out of a burning SUV.

"The emotional part of it was 30 seconds; I would have been gone, just like that," Mike Johannes told CNN affiliate KARE-TV.

And on a Minnesota county road Sunday night came a reminder, Mike Johannes watched life and death intersect in a flash.

"The thing just went poof,” he said.

Mike pulled over his Chevy Trailblazer only to find the car fire had disabled the locks, "Then I just started kicking, 'cause there was smoke."

There was no way out, until the glass cracked and a hand reached in.

"He bent the door with his bare hands. That was him. It was no tool. He went (crack). It shattered the glass and they were able to pull me out," Mike explained.

For Mike and his wife Lisa, she said: "Sometimes fates steps in, right place, right time."

That moment super human strength was the second miracle of their life.

"My daughter was very ill when she was born. I don't know how we get so lucky twice," Lisa Johannes said.

But then it was Mike's turn to extend his hand in gratitude, during the interview he got a phone call from the man who saved him.

"You risked your life to save me, Bob, and I'm really appreciative, thank you. I could be planning my funeral today if it wasn't for you," Mike told rescuer Bob Renning.

"I don't think I did anything different anyone else would have done had they gotten into the car ahead of me. That' just my take," said Bob Renning, who is familiar with rescues as a first sergeant with the air national guard.

But he stresses it wasn't necessarily his military training that kicked in. it was his heart.

For this father, the act was beyond any call of duty.

A drive-by sacrifice saved his life.

"My wife thanks him. I know my daughter does. Sometime I gotta meet up with him. I'll have her give him a big hug," Mike said to Bob, on the phone.

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