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Dec 20, 2015 11:27 AM

National Guardsman uses shaken soda to put out car fire, save injured woman

GILMANTON - A New Hampshire National Guard training officer did some quick thinking when faced with an overturned car, an engine fire and an injured woman trapped inside.

According to the Union Leader, Staff Sgt. Mark Hickey first tried to smother the flames with some hunting clothes from inside his truck -- but when that didn't work, he took a 2-liter bottle of soda, shook it and used it as a fire extinguisher.

It worked.

“I honestly wasn't really thinking. I just knew I needed to get the fire out,” Hickey said. “I've seen car fires; they go pretty quick.”

Hickey had come up on the overturned Toyota Camry on Route 140 in Gilmanton the morning of Dec. 6.

When he stopped, he found a woman inside the car unconscious, hanging from the seatbelt. The car had apparently slid on black ice, rolled and smashed into a parked truck.

Another driver had stopped and was on the phone with 911, so Hickey quickly assessed the scene.

“And that's when the car caught fire," he said.

Susan Robbins remembers screaming as her car slid sideways that morning, but the rest remains a blank until she awoke in the emergency room.

“I didn't get burned, thanks to Mark,” she said. “What he did was selfless."

Hickey said it was his Army training that kicked in that morning and he rejected the mantle of hero.

“It was just the right thing to do. It wasn't a heroic thing.”

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