A paralyzed Texas man, who was pulled from his burning vehicle by a heroic woman Sunday, forgot to thank the stranger who saved him, so he tracked her down in order to express his gratitude properly.
Dennis Brown, 58, of Dallas, praised the actions of Tammi Arrington, a Mississippi resident, who quickly responded to help him when Brown’s rental car caught fire. She dragged him from the vehicle before the fire completely enveloped the car, The New York Post reported.
Brown is paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by a gunman 36 years ago. He had rented a special vehicle equipped with a hand-control device so he could still drive.
“It’s kind of dawning on me the kind of danger I was in,” Brown told The Post. “If it wasn’t for Tammi, I don’t know how I possibly would’ve gotten out or how close I would’ve got burned or wouldn’t be here today if not for Tammi.”
Arrington, 42, told the outlet she just happened to be in the right place at the right time when she saw the car fire. She was in town helping a friend move into her new home.
She told The Post she looked out the front window and saw flames coming from the automobile. Rushing to the vehicle, at first, she thought there was no one inside. But then, she saw Brown’s head move near the headrest on the driver’s side.
Opening the door, she told Brown to get out of the car, but he reportedly told her, “I can’t, I’m in a wheelchair.”
Arrington grabbed the chair but realized she didn’t have time to assemble it. So, she dragged Brown out of the car and put him in the wheelchair after she got it put together, The Post reported. The pair then moved away to a safe distance from the burning vehicle.
During the aftermath that followed, Brown said he was so stunned he forgot to ask Arrington her name. His mother, Julia Brown, told KDFW-TV that she went to the house the woman was visiting to thank her, but also never got her name.
“I almost lost my child in this burning car. I cannot thank her enough,” she told the outlet. “Because if she hadn’t pulled him out of there, he would have burned. She was his angel by the grace of God.”
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KDFW aired Brown’s interview. He hoped it would lead to him thanking his Good Samaritan in person. Arrington later contacted the station and the two were able to connect, according to The Post.
“The first thing I said was, ‘Tammi, this is Dennis, the guy in the wheelchair,’” Brown told the outlet. “We started laughing, man, we just started laughing.”
Brown said he and his mother plan on taking Arrington and her friend out to dinner the next time she’s in town.
But the woman told The Post she doesn’t think she deserves any special credit for helping another person in a time of need.
“I’m glad he’s OK,” Arrington said. “Any human response — I think if they saw that, they would have done the same thing.”