San Antonio Police Dept. - Sergeant
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A San Antonio police officer is being called a hero tonight after rescuing two teens from a burning car. Sgt. Jesse Garcia says he's no hero and that any officer would have done what he did.Early Saturday morning the 27-year veteran was off-duty and headed home when he spotted a burning car on Loop 1604 near Sulfur Springs Road.What Sgt. Garcia did next now has him being awarded with a "certificate of merit" at police headquarters, his right arm and face still bandaged from the burns he received.What Garcia says he didn't know when he pulled over that morning was that two girls -- nineteen and seventeen -- were still trapped inside the burning car.He was first on scene, and though others would eventually arrive to help, he knew he had to act quickly to get the girls out."And I heard her saying that 'I don't want to die this way. I don't want to die. Don't leave me.' So I just grabbed her, and when I stuck my head in there and saw that she was trapped, I tried to get some air and she said, 'Don't leave me'. I said, 'I'm not leaving you, I just need some air.' And I got out and went back in there, and that's when it got a little worse. I felt my shoulder catch on fire and I could hear the crackling of the helmet."Sgt. Garcia credits that motorcycle helmet with preventing him from suffering more significant burns.Garcia says the two girls remain in the hospital in critical but stable condition. They suffered some burns and broken bones, but both are expected to survive.Police Chief William McManus says Garcia will also be nominated for a life-saving award later in the year.
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