VIENNA, Va. (WUSA9) -- It sounds like a scene straight out of a movie. A young woman lifts a truck to rescue her father, then saves the rest of her family from a raging fire.
But that scenario is all too real for 19-year-old Charlotte Heffelmire, whose heroic actions saved her family from an unthinkable tragedy.
Days after Thanksgiving, her father, Eric Heffelmire, was working on his GMC truck when the truck fell, gasoline spilled and a fire was ignited, all in an instant.
"I was on my back, face up, and I was trying to get some corroded brakes lines when apparently the jack slipped and fell down on me." Eric Heffelmire said. "Pinned me across right here on my shoulder,"
Then, there was an explosion.
"I thought they'd be pulling out a dead body later in the evening," Eric Heffelmire said.
Fortunately, Charlotte was home from school on Thanksgiving break. She saw her dad and still can't fully explain what happened next.
"I lifted it [the truck] the first time, he said 'OK, you almost got it,'" Charlotte Heffelmire said. "Finally managed to get it out, it was some crazy strength, pulled him out."
Once her dad was out, she got into the truck, still on fire, and drove it, on three wheels, out of the garage.
"I didn't want the entire house to explode with the truck, so I started the truck, put it four wheel drive and just mashed on it with three wheels and just drove out. It left a nice groove on the asphalt," Charlotte Heffelmire said.
Once the truck was moved, Charlotte closed the garage doors to help contain the fire, then calmly walked into the house and got everybody out, and picked up her sister's baby first.
"I just did what I had to do, so I don't feel like a big hero or anything," Charlotte Heffelmire said.
Charlotte's bravery was recognized Thursday night when Fairfax County Fire and Rescue gave her a Citizen Lifesaving Award.
Charlotte graduated from McLean High School last year and began attending the Air Force Academy. But, now, she's taking a break and deciding where to finish her education.
There's one more thing that Charlotte did after she got her family out (besides calling 911). With flames shooting out of the garage, she grabbed a garden hose to knock the flames away from the house. But that's something the fire department tells you to never do.
Like this story? Like WUSA9 on Facebook.