Valley firefighters rescue stranded motorists in storm

PHOENIX - We're just hearing from the hero in an unbelievable water rescue caught on tape.

Phoenix firefighters stayed busy rescuing 16 people from their cars during a rain storm Tuesday night in South Phoenix.

But one rescue near 19th Avenue and Dobbins was especially harrowing.

A man desperately pled for help, climbing on top of his car as the water currents carried it away.

A fire truck pulled up to help, and a firefighter opened a door for the man, throwing him a rope.

He jumped in.  

A viewer captured video of it all unfolding.

Paramedic Terrance Petty helped rescue the man.

"I just told him, 'hey, if you fall into the water, don't let go of the rope' and he held on, and once he jumped I pulled him up,’” he said.

The chaos broke out as soon as the rain started pouring down.

"Almost looked like Armageddon, there was a lot of cars stuck on the side of the road. It was dark and wet and windy,” Petty said.

Firefighters only made it a couple hundred feet down the road—before their help was needed.

"We started noticing people stranded in cars, waving their hands out the window asking for help,” Petty said.

"The car started to move so we knew we had to do something."

More than 50 firefighters rescued stranded motorists that night.

And after all that, firefighters at station 57 came back to a mess.

"This was completely covered in water and mud,” Petty said, pointing around the station.

But that was nothing compared to what they already dealt with.

"We got back into the truck and he was super happy super thankful. Gave me a hug, gave me two hugs actually and just thanked us for our help. He actually thought he was going to die that day,” Petty said, talking about the man he rescued from the top of a car.

One person was taken to the hospital in critical condition Tuesday night because of a medical issue. Fire officials say everyone else is okay.

But now the firehouse and the whole neighborhood have a lot of clean up to do.

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