Two paramedics have thanked members of the public who helped them pull man from burning car seconds before it went up in a ‘giant fireball’ on A39.

Two heroic paramedics have told how they risked their lives to rescue a man from a burning car - seconds before it went up in flames.

Paramedic Dan Ferne and student paramedic Lisa Jordan were on their way to a job in Bideford on the night of Friday, July 31, when they were flagged down at the scene of a two-car collision on the A39 near Roundswell.

Dan said: "We could see there were two cars and a man appeared to be trapped in one of them, which was just starting to catch fire.

"There were two men trying to help him but they could not get him out. The door was completely shot."

Running out of time

While Lisa grabbed a fire extinguisher from the back of the ambulance, Dan assessed the situation.

"The man was trapped by his legs and his family were by the side of the road, screaming for him to get out.

"We knew we had to get him out as quickly as possible."

Giant fireball

While Lisa held back the flames, Dan and the two men hauled the man through the window by his belt.

Lisa said: "Literally seconds afterwards the second car burst into flames and the whole thing went up in a giant fireball.

"Neither of us had ever been in a situation like that before - you don't know if it's going to be like the movies where it just explodes.

"All we knew at the time was that we had to get him out, but afterwards we did think, things could have been very different."

'Selfless bravery'

Lisa and Dan wanted to thank the members of the public who helped, and those who stayed at the scene to help treat the casualties.

Dan added: "We have not seen the man since - we did go to hospital to check he was okay the next day, but he was in surgery."

Colin Bolsom, Dan and Lisa's operations manager, said: "Coming across an incident is always hard as you don't have the time while travelling to the location to plan your approach and decide initial actions.

"Dan and Lisa recognised the time-critical nature of the incident and their quick thinking and selfless bravery ultimately saved a life."

Following the collision, the man driving the second car - not the man rescued - was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and driving dangerously. He was bailed.