Two women and an off-duty police officer have been hailed as heroes after saving a man from a burning car moments after it smashed into a tree.
The car slammed into a tree and instantly burst into flames, trapping the driver before catching alight himself.
Nearby residents Donna Harrold and her mother-in-law Jennifer heard the crash and rushed to the fiery scene.
The man, in his 50s, was driving ‘erratically’ around a bend in Silvan, near Melbourne, on Christmas Day when he lost control and slammed into a tree
Jennifer said the crash sounded ‘like a bomb going off’.
‘It was so loud. You could just tell it was going to be bad,’ Donna told 7NEWS.
‘And then he started screaming and we knew he was on fire. He was yelling and I had to get him out of that car.
‘He was screaming. I couldn’t leave him there. He was burning.’
Off-duty police officer Steve Harris, who was driving home from Christmas lunch, saw the scene and stopped to help.
‘The situation was dire,’ he said. We couldn’t see the man burn to death in his car. We had to do something.’
Donna and Steve pulled the burning man through the window as Jennifer used a fire extinguisher to put out flames on his legs.
Nearby residents Donna Harrold and her mother-in-law Jennifer heard the crash and pulled the man from the burning car
‘I think, literally, he was moments away from death,’ Steve said.
The man was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
Donna was burnt during the rescue and was also taken to hospital.
‘I don’t feel like a hero, I just had to get him out of that car. I guess people are braver than they think,’ she said.