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Video: Stranger bends car door, saves man from burning SUV

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Jul 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-01 17:10:29-04

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. – A Minnesota man is grateful to be alive after a stranger pulled him out of his burning SUV.

“The emotional part of it was 30 seconds, I would have been gone, just like that,” Mike Johannes said.

On 35W and County Rd. D, Johannes watched life and death intersect in a flash.

“The thing just went poof,” he said.

Johannes pulled over his Chevy Trailblazer after his car caught fire.

He soon realized the blaze had disabled the automatic locks.

“Then I just started kicking, ’cause there was smoke,” he said.

There was no way out until the glass cracked and a hand reached through the car.

“He bent the door with his bare hands,” Johannes said. “That was him, it was no tool. He went ‘crack.’ It shattered the glass and they were able to pull me out.”

“Sometimes, fate steps in; right place, right time,” Lisa Johannes said.

During that moment, super-human strength was the second miracle of their lives.

“My daughter was very ill when she was born; I don’t know how we get so lucky twice,” she said.

Bob Renning is familiar with rescues as a First Sergeant with the Air National Guard.

“I don’t think I did anything different anyone else would have done had they gotten into the car ahead of me, that’s just my take,” Renning said.

For Mike Johannes, the act was beyond any call of duty.

“My wife thanks him, I know my daughter does,” he said. “Sometime, I gotta meet up with him. I’ll have her give him a big hug.”