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2nd grade teacher Elaine Johnson rescues students from burning car at Cameron Ranch Elementary

2:25 AM, Mar 20, 2012   |    comments
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  • Second grade teacher Elaine Johnson
  • Kenneth
  • Custodian Larry Clark
    

CARMICHAEL, CA - A teacher rescued two kids from a burning car Monday afternoon.

A parent was driving through the pickup lane at Cameron Ranch Elementary School when his burgundy Toyota 4Runner hit a speed bump and ignited into flames around 3 p.m.

Witnesses said the SUV appeared to be leaking some sort of gas or liquid right before it caught fire.

"There was fire everywhere, leaping at the sides of the car, all around, flames coming from underneath," teacher Judy Dronberger said. 

Second grade teacher Elaine Johnson, who was in the school parking lot assisting students, ran to the car to help.

"[Elaine Johnson] just went over there and ripped the door open," Dronberger said.

"I tried to get the toddler out of the car," Johnson said. "I couldn't get the seatbelt open. I saw the dad struggling with his seatbelt. Then someone came up beside me and got the girl out. I got the little boy."

Kenneth, a parent, was just walking out of the school office when he saw the fire and the little girl.

"My first thought was I hope she didn't have her seatbelt on," Kenneth said. "I turned and saw a truck on fire. The door was open. I ran over and grabbed her."

Custodian Larry Clark and three other people grabbed fire extinguishers on campus and helped put out the fire.

Monday night, parents, teachers and staff called Johnson a hero.

"I'm a little shaken. I don't handle adrenaline very well," Johnson said. "It was like a movie. You expected it to explode. You expected it to blow up."

The fire department applauded all those involved in the rescue.

No one was injured in Monday's fire.

News10/KXTV

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