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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEWORLEANS- Pedi cab driver David Wasicek's typical day is like most taxi drivers: pickups, drop offs, and some occasional conversation.

Altogether, it's an eight to twelve hour shift.

Early morning New Year's Day, while on his 13th hour, typical turned into unforgettable.

Cell phone video shows a car bursting into flames in the parking lot of the Convention Center.

You see firefighters working to douse the blaze but what it doesn't show is the heroics of a total stranger.

'The engine was on fire, the car was just engulfed with smoke,' Wasicek said.

Through the flames, he noticed a man inside the burning vehicle with arms stretched out begging for help.

'When you see a car and a fire and someone in the smoke, the natural instinct is to take over and get them out of there,' Wasicek said.

After getting to the flames he helped pull the driver out the window.

Wasicek said, 'I walked up and didn't even think about it and started bear hugging him. He must have still been clipped in because it took forever to get out of that thing.'

After pulling the man from the burning car, he ran back to the flames to see if anyone else was inside.

Thankfully, there was not.

'I tried to open some doors and tried to break a window. I couldn't get in so I went through the window and felt some seats,' Wasicek said.

On the video, you can hear the driver try to explain what happened.

He told investigators the car was smoking and then suddenly caught fire.

Wasicek said his only concern was getting the man out, not playing hero.

'It was like (either I can) be the biggest jerk in the world and let some guy die, or help him out. I didn't get injured. No, I'm not a hero,' he said.

Firefighters were on the scene within minutes of the call.

The driver suffered minor injuries and a total of five cars were damaged.

No word on what caused the fire.

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