Bodycam Catches Officer Rescuing Driver from Car on Fire

ABC(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- An officer's frantic efforts to free a driver from her car as it erupted into flames was caught on bodycam footage released by police in Spokane, Washington.

Around 9:40 p.m. on Friday, a motorist called 911 saying that she was trapped in her vehicle, which had caught fire, according to police. She was told to break the windows, but said she wasn't able to shatter the glass.

Before fire crews arrived, Officer Tim Schwering arrived on the scene and used his baton to break a hole in the car's driver-side window, police said. When he couldn't unlock the door, Schwering removed the driver's side glass so the driver could escape the vehicle.

Kimberly Novak, who identified herself as the driver in the video, told ABC affiliate KXLY-TV in Spokane, Washington, that she was headed to the store for ice cream when her car hit slush on the road and died.

"I honestly believed that I may not make it out of there," Novak told KXLY-TV. "I thought I was going to die there and so panic was definitely setting in."

"I mean I tried all the doors and tried to open them myself and then kicking as hard as I could," she said. "The flames were shooting up. I realized it's happening that fast, that it was going to get me fast too."

Police said a neighbor, who saw the car on fire, helped in pulling Novak through the driver's side window to safety.

Schwering was treated at a hospital for smoke-inhalation symptoms and then released, according to police. The neighbor was also treated for minor cuts from the window glass, according to police.

"Once fire crews arrived on scene, they found the engine compartment fully involved with fire, fire venting to both wheel wells," police said. "The grille shell and bumper had melted away and were effectively burning puddles beneath vehicle. It’s unclear at this time what the cause of the car fire was."

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