A northeast Iowa man has been honored for his role in rescuing a teenager from a burning car last fall. Governor Tom Vilsack presented Clayton County Conservation officer Tim Englehardt with the “Sullivan Brothers Award of Valor” on Monday afternoon. Englehardt is credited with slowing the fire long enough so bystanders could pull 16-year-old Samantha Dickens of Marquette to safety. Dickens was trapped after a head-on collision with a semi on November 8th. “The flames were coming up along the side of the car. The flames were even touching the door handle so we couldn’t even get in close enough to get anybody out and I ran the fire extinguisher one shot underneath of the car and I put it out long enough for the other guys to break the window and two of us went around on the backside of the car because that’s where the most fire was at and tried to stop it as best as we could or at least slow it down,” Englehardt says. “It was within about two minutes of when she was pulled out the whole car was engulfed in flames.” Englehardt says he’s amazed no one was burned — not even the 16-year-old inside the car. She was released from the hospital the next day. Englehardt, who is 38, says he was just doing his job. He credits the other bystanders with the rescue. “To me that shows their willingness to become involved, a sense of responsibility, character, to be able to put themselves in hard’s way as well,” Englehardt says. Governor Vilsack says Englehardt is a hero for his quick-thinking response to a dangerous situation. “It takes a special kind of person to do that and it takes a special kind of person to respond in a difficult circumstance with heroism and bravery and it takes a special kind of person to put their own life at risk to save someone else,” Vilsack says. The Sullivan Brothers for whom the state’s Award of Valor is named were the five young brothers from Waterloo who died when their Navy boat sank during World War II.
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