Man burned trying to rescue woman in car fire - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Man burned trying to rescue woman in car fire

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A FOX 10 Exclusive

PHOENIX - You may remember our news coverage of a woman killed in a car fire along the Loop 101 last week. Now, we're talking to a man who risked his life to try and pull her to safety.

Cliff Faraci is in the burn unit at Maricopa Medical Center, but he's getting better.

He's 43 years old, the father of two scouts and their motto is "do a good turn daily" -- he followed that motto last Thursday.

The tip of Faraci's nose is burned. Both arms also burned and bandaged.

"I didn't even think anything could happen to me, I just knew I needed to help, somebody needed help," he says.

In fact, a lot of help was needed on this horrible Thursday afternoon on the 101 freeway. Cell phone video from a passerby shows just how bad it was.

Cliff Faraci stopped to help as soon as he saw the accident. He ran to the red car, which was smoldering at the time, to try to get the woman out. The car was so mangled, neither door would budge.

"I reached both arms and my head in the car while I was still taking to her, trying to keep her calm but trying to find the keys and that's when the car ignited and flashed, and I ran back and patted out the flames that were on me and I turned around and watched the car explode," he recalls.

The woman died in the fire. Faraci and others then helped people in the other crashed cars get to safety. Another car also burst into flames.

"I just did what we should do, what we would want people to do. If God forbid my boys were in a car accident, I would want people to stop and help."

Of the many get well cards and gifts, this bouquet is the most poignant. These flowers came from the family of the woman Cliff tried to save on that day. Her name was Shelby.

Her family has thanked Cliff for doing all he could to save her. He says he's no hero. Cliff's wife Bonnie disagrees.

"Definitely a hero to be able to have somebody there by Shelby's side to keep her comforted as much as he could and to help so many others just to get them out of harm's way. I definitely think he's a hero very proud very proud," says Bonnie.

Cliff Faraci is a mechanical contractor, and despite basic insurance, the medical bills from this stay in the burn unit are steep and not fully covered.

Friends of the family have set up a fund at Wells Fargo Bank to help the Faracis out, account #7177997074.

Related story: Car crashes, catches fire on Loop 101; 1 dead

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