Good Samaritans rescue man from car fire in Silverdale

Good Samaritans rescue man from car fire in Silverdale

“As soon as we pulled him out, the car went ‘boom,” Terrance Billy said.

Thirty-five-year-old Spencer Uber had dropped off his brother at work at the Blazing Onion restaurant in Silverdale, and was driving home to Bremerton under cloudy skies around 11:30 Thursday morning.

That’s when he saw something shocking.

A white Chevrolet Camaro was jammed against the guardrail in the far right lane on southbound Route 303, engulfed in flames. A man appeared to be trapped inside, unable to open the door.

“I could see him panicking and waving his arms,” Uber said. “The whole inside of the car was engulfed.”

Uber, a cook at the same Blazing Onion and a graduate of Bremerton High School, immediately pulled over. He had volunteered as a firefighter and paramedic with Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue in his twenties.

“My main concern was that this guy probably has a family,” he said. “It’s not his time to go.”

Around the same time, 56-year-old Terrance Billy, a retired Bremerton resident originally from New Orleans, saw the flames and also pulled over to help.

Uber opened the car door and began to pull the victim out. Billy joined, and the two managed to get him out of the car and to safety.

Moments later, they heard explosions.

“As soon as we pulled him out, the car went ‘boom,” Billy said. “All four of the tires went first.”

The windows blew out. The rest of the car continued to burn.

The man’s jacket was melted, his hair scorched, and he seemed lethargic, Uber said. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with burns, according to a Washington State Patrol spokesperson.

The man’s name has not been released. State troopers described him as a 70-year-old male. Uber said he wore a military veterans hat, and had military bumper stickers on his car.

The man told Uber and Billy that the fire started after a lit cigarette landed in his lap. As the flames spread, the car veered and struck the guardrail. The car was still running and in drive when Uber showed up, he said.

CKFR fire chief John Oliver said Uber and Billy were instrumental in the rescue.

“The two passersby stopped and pulled him out of the car,” Oliver said. “They were pulling him out when I got there.”

Firefighters managed to put out the flames, leaving a charred wreck.

Uber said he was still a little shaken up while describing the experience Thursday night. He recalled his training as a volunteer with CKFR.

“That training came into play and helped,” he said.

Billy, who lives in Bremerton with his wife Suzanne Tipton, called the incident his “reasonable service.”

“I’m a Christian. I believe in God, and in helping people,” he said. “That was my reasonable service today, to help save a life.”

Uber said despite his training, today a decade distant, he’d never been in a situation quite like that.

“You never really know what’s going to happen until it happens, at the last minute,” he said.

“I just did what any Good Samaritan would do.”

A spokesperson for the University of Washington said the victim was in “satisfactory condition” at the hospital Thursday.

Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.

Good Samaritans rescue man from car fire in Silverdale
Good Samaritans rescue man from car fire in Silverdale

More in News

Poulsbo's Public Safety & Legal Committee held a meeting via Zoom last week. Courtesy photo
Poulsbo businesses victims of recent crime

Harding: lack of staffing, recent law changes hinder department

Felony arrest warrant issued for Gregory

18-year-old is wanted in connection with murder of Tyrone Sero

Matt Murphy, president/CEO of the South Kitsap Chamber of Commerce, received the 2021 AWB Grassroots Alliance Advocate of the Year Award from AWB President Kris Johnson, right, and AWB director of strategic engagement Dru Garson on Oct. 14, 2021.
South Kitsap Chamber of Commerce honored for advocacy

Award given by AWB business organization earlier this month

NKSD staff shortages could lead to remote learning

Teachers, bus drivers, subs all needed

Update: Suspect confesses to killing Port Orchard man during botched pot deal

19-year-old dealer shot during scuffle at South Kitsap parking lot

Greater Hansville Community Center will be hosting a drive-in trick-or-treating event Halloween evening. Courtesy illustration
Many COVID-conscious Halloween events in N. Kitsap

With Halloween coming this weekend, many COVID-19-conscious events will be occurring in… Continue reading

19-year-old admits to killing Port Orchard man

Gig Harbor man turns himself in and is booked on first-degree murder. Another suspect is also booked.

Map view of Strickland property. Courtesy photo
City of Poulsbo looking to buy resident’s property next to PERC site

Ellen Strickland wants to sell her property to city instead of developers

Most Read