CANAAN (AP) – Two Canaan men are credited with saving the life of a 3-year-old boy by plucking him from a burning car.

David Custer of Parkman and Mark Potter of Canaan rescued the boy Wednesday night after the car went off a dirt road and caught fire after tumbling halfway down a 20-foot embankment, officials said.

Custer says he stopped when he saw the boy’s mother, Lindsay Ryder, 22, of Winslow, trying to flag down motorists.

He said Potter was already at work on top of the Chevrolet Cavalier, which was on its side with smoking pouring from the windows.

Custer said he climbed on top and held the door open so it wouldn’t close as Potter climbed in and used a borrowed knife to cut away at the straps that were preventing the boy from getting out.

“I kept worrying about the car exploding,” Custer said. The mother could see the situation was getting worse and was terrified. “Please, save my baby. Please get my baby out of there,” she screamed, according to Potter.

Eventually, Custer tugged on the boy and Potter cut away the remaining straps to get the boy out of the car. Within two minutes, the car exploded in flames, setting the surrounding trees on fire, according to Custer.

Firefighters and police say it is almost certain the boy, Evan Moody, would not have survived without the intervention of the two men.

Canaan Firefighter John Graf said he arrived about three minutes after the accident was reported and found the car engulfed in flames.

The boy emerged from the incident unharmed. His mother was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, where she was treated an released, according to police.

AP-ES-09-05-03 0951EDT

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