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Good Samaritan saves Minnesota man's life by bending locked car door with bare hands

Michael Johannes owes Robert Renning a big "thank you."
By Evan Bleier   |   June 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM   |   Comments

NEW BRIGHTON, Minn., June 30 (UPI) -- A 52-year-old Minnesota man bent a locked car door in half with his bare hands and pulled a man to safety after his car caught on fire on Sunday evening in New Brighton.

Robert Renning was driving on Interstate 35W around 6:30 p.m. when he passed a car that was on fire.

Renning got the attention of the driver, Michael Johannes, and got him to pull over.

"Flames and smoke were rolling around the car," Renning told the Star Tribune. "So I started to run over."

Johannes couldn't get the car's electronic locks and power windows to open, so Renning "somehow pried his fingers" along the vehicle's door frame and "bent the locked door in half from the top down."

After he created the opening, Renning was able to pull Johannes out before he was seriously injured, or worse.

"He did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person," Minnesota State Trooper Zachary Hill told WCCO. "I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive."

Renning has a thank you call coming his way from Johannes very soon. "I have to talk to him," Johannes said. "I really want him to be recognized. Did you see the door? Did you see it? He saved my life."

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