Body camera footage captured the harrowing rescue of a Spokane woman trapped inside a burning vehicle Friday. Kimberly Novak toldKHQ she was on her way home from a quick ice cream run when her car caught fire, leaving her trapped inside. "I've never been so terrified in my life," Novak said. "Between that and the smoke I didn't know what was going to get me first."
The Spokane Police Department was alerted to a 911 call at approximately 10:00 p.m. local time Friday, with officers advised that Novak had been trying to kick out the windows of the vehicle but had been unsuccessful. Officer Tim Schwering was the first on the scene and promptly broke a hole in the window using his baton. Schwering, however, was not immediately able to unlock the door.
Schwering then pulled out the entire driver's side window so that Novak could escape. A neighbor from a nearby residence, according to a news release from SPD, also helped in Schwering's rescue efforts. "Right now I'm really blessed," Novak toldKHQ's Katie Chen Saturday. "It's humbling to think it can happen that fast without any warning."
When fire crews arrived, the vehicle's engine compartment had been "fully engulfed in flames." Novak was treated and released at the scene, while Schwering was treated and released for smoke inhalation from a nearby hospital. The cause of the fire, which reportedly started when Novak's car suddenly shut off while driving over an ice patch, remains unclear.