Minnesota man rescues driver from burning car

NEW BRIGHTON, MN (KARE/CNN) – A Minnesota man is grateful to be alive after a stranger pulled him out of a burning SUV.

Life can change so fast.

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

And on 35W and County Road D Sunday night came a reminder, Mike Johannes watched life and death intersect in a flash.

“The thing just went poof!” Johannes remembers.

Johannes pulled over his Chevy Trailblazer only to find the car fire had disabled the locks.

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

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,” Johannes remembers.

For Mike and his wife Lisa, – “Sometimes fates steps in, right place, right time,” Lisa said.

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 said.

But then it was Johannes’s turn to extend his hand in gratitude.

“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, so…” Johannes said.

“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.” Bob Renning replied.

Renning 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.

“Thanks mmhmm, bye. What a nice guy,” Johannes said.

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,” Johannes said.

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