Charlotte Heffelmire was presented with a Citizen Lifesaving Award Thursday, January 8, 2016, by Chief Richie Bowers and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Ms. Heffelmire was recognized for her selfless act in saving her family’s lives on November 28, 2015. The dramatic incident involved her father who was trapped under a truck, and a resulting gasoline fire that caused the home to catch fire.
Eric Heffelmire, Charlotte’s father, was working on his GMC truck when the truck fell, gasoline spilled, and a fire was ignited. Fortunately, Charlotte was home from school on Thanksgiving break. Charlotte entered the garage and found her father pinned under the truck and the truck was on fire. She was able to lift the truck twice to get her father free and pulled him to safety.
Charlotte’s heroism did not stop there. Once her dad was out, she climbed into the truck, still on fire, and drove it on three wheels from the garage. Once the truck was moved, Charlotte closed the garage doors to help contain the fire, then went into the house and got everybody out, including her sister’s baby. Next Charlotte called 911, and then proceeded to the garage where flames continued to shoot out and used a garden hose to try to stop the fire from spreading further.
Charlotte’s quick actions resulted in saving six lives and preventing further spread of the fire.