Two brothers pulled a woman from a burning car, saving her life, after she had crashed into a gas pump.

The brothers, Phillipe and Raphael Bittar, had pulled their car over at the Chevron service station on 7200 S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Highway to take a picture of the flames. At first, the brothers did not know that someone was trapped in the car because there were other people taking pictures and videos of the burning car.

“I was expecting for everybody to be safe because there was nobody trying to intervene or anything,” explained Phillipe. “So I just kind of came over here and I was like, ‘Oh wow, that’s a pretty bad fire.’ I didn’t realize there was somebody in the car until a woman ran up and my brother’s like, ‘There’s a woman in there.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s go.'”

Phillipe, age 19 and a student at Oregon State, ran towards the burning car. When he got there, he noticed that the older woman had tried to get out of the car and managed to move from the driver seat to the passenger seat, but she was trapped.

“The woman, she was just panicking inside the car and I told her, ‘I’m going to get you out of here as fast as I can. I just punched the window and I took her out. I picked her up and gave her to her friends,” Phillipe said.

Phillipe and Raphael got the woman out of the car just in time. “The flames were already starting to creep into the back seat, and after we got her out and go her behind the building for safety, we came back (and) the flames were already out of the front seat,” said Raphael.

According to the Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R), a gas station employee turned the main switch to the gas pumps off to prevent further damage.

TVF&R Battalion Chief Leonard Damian commented on Phillipe’s life-saving actions. “Had this individual not broken out the window and pulled the patient out of the burning car and to safety, I don’t believe she would have survived. His actions were nothing short of heroic,” said Damian.

The woman suffered from smoke inhalation and was taken to a hospital where she is expected to recover.

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.