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Claremont Man Rescued in Car Fire



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Springfield, Vt. — Two passers-by from Maryland rescued a 66-year-old Claremont man from a fiery crash on Interstate 91 northbound early Friday morning in Springfield, according to a news release from Vermont State Police.

Gene Farnham was pulled from his burning car by father and daughter duo Michael and Marie Lajoie “moments before it became fully engulfed in flames,” police said in the release.

“Marie and Michael Lajoie’s quick thinking and selfless actions ... undoubtedly saved Farnham’s life,” according to the release.

The pair pulled over around 12:40 a.m. after they saw flames coming from the hood of Farnham’s 2008 Chrysler Sebring, which had crashed into trees in the median. The Lajoies, who were en route to a family gathering in Quebec, heard Farnham yelling for help from inside the vehicle.

The duo could not see inside the vehicle because of the “large amount of smoke,” and Farnham was unable to unlock his doors or put his windows down, the release said.

“We were looking to break the window,” Michael Lajoie said. “So finally, I found a branch, I broke the (rear passenger’s) window, and we pulled the guy out of the car.”

Farnham was the only one inside the vehicle at the time. He was taken to Springfield Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

The Lajoies said they were glad they could help. “That’s a good feeling,” Lajoie said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

An earlier version of this story was posted on www.vnews.com Friday morning. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com or 603-727-3220.