Man credits fire crews for saving his American flag from truck inferno

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Cory Gallagher said once he saves up for a new truck, he'll also buy a new flag. He still has not learned what caused the fire. (WHAM photo)

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WHAM) - Video shows a pickup truck going up in flames Monday night as the driver narrowly escaped.

Cameras were recording as firefighters battled the intense heat to save an American flag on the truck.

"Looks like a real battle flag now. It's just melted, gone," said Cory Gallagher, as he looked at what's left of his flag.

It's now melted and charred.

"All of a sudden I hear a whoosh and it goes up in flames," Gallagher said.

Video courtesy: RXY-374 Productions

Gallagher was driving home when his truck suddenly turned into an inferno, and he had to think quickly.

"In a split second decision, I had to decide to stay in the truck and burn with it or get out," Gallagher said.

He jumped out, but the American flag given to him by his little brother was still on the back of his truck.

"The flag meant something to me, you know?" Gallagher said.

He said when he called 911 for help, he knew his truck was gone. But he hoped firefighters could save his flag.

"I knew I had time before the fire made it back to that end," said Lt. Jared Guhl, who works with the Henrietta Fire Department.

Guhl said he approached the burning truck with caution.

"I made sure the wind direction was blowing in the right way and I wasn't inhaling any smoke," Guhl said.

Now, the flag is tattered and burned. However, Gallagher said he plans to frame it as symbol of overcoming adversity, especially as he prepares to join the U.S. Army.

"It's sad, but it's still here. That's the thing that matters right now, is that the flag is still here," Gallagher said.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Gallagher said, once he saves up for a new truck, he'll also buy a new flag. He still has not learned what caused the fire, but fire crews say it may have been a mechanical issue.