Dad's Superhero Effort to Save Kids From Raging Fire


While rushing home to his kids after hearing that his house was on fire, one father’s car flipped on the road, causing him to suffer minor injuries — but that didn’t stop him from freeing himself from the wreck and running a half-mile home to help his children.

Carlos Pettigrew was in a parent-teacher conference on Wednesday when he got a call from his 13-year-old daughter telling him their Maryland house had caught fire. Corbin Pettigrew called her father from a neighbor’s house to tell him the news, but the phone died before she could assure him that she and her brother, Carson, were safe. “We said the house was on fire and that we couldn’t get the dog. The phone died at that point,” Corbin told Fox5DC.

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Carlos Pettigrew and his daughter, Corbin, are safe after their house caught fire Wednesday. (Photo: Fox5DC)

Scared for his children’s lives, Carlos rushed into his car to get to his family. “I just pictured them in the house, you know, screaming for help and me not being able to be there,” Carlos said.

Once he was on the road, Carlos told WUSA9 that he “drove as fast as he could.” Unfortunately, that resulted in him hitting two curbs and losing control of the car, which flipped upside down. “Everything was in slow motion. I just thought about my kids. And that I was going to lose my children and I wasn’t ready for that,” he said.

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Carlos Pettigrew’s car suffered extensive damage after flipping upside down. (Photo: Fox5DC)

Carlos, banged up and bloodied, crawled out of the flipped vehicle and ran another half-mile to reach his children, who he found safe and sound. The dog, who was trapped in the basement when firefighters arrived, is also safe. His home, however, had nearly $50,000 worth of damage from the fire, which Fox5DC reports was likely the result of a faulty extension cord. His car also was extensively damaged.

To help offset some of the costs of the fire, students at Oxon Hill High School, where Carlos is an AP Language and drama teacher, have started a GoFundMe page to help the family. “Thankfully, the children are okay but he is suffering from minor injuries and his house and car are both damaged,” the students wrote. “We just want to do whatever we can to help him. Not only is Mr. Pettigrew a great teacher but he is also a wonderful person.” So far, the page has raised more than $4,000 towards its $50,000 goal.

Carlos told Fox5DC he did what any father would, and that he simply feels blessed that his family is safe and healthy.

Corbin didn’t think he should be so modest. When asked what kind of dad she had, the teenager had a simple response: “A superhero dad.”

(Top photo: GoFundMe)

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