2 DUI drivers arrested after crash sparks fire in north Fresno building

A good Samaritan who witnessed the impact spoke exclusively to Action News, recounting the moments he ran to the driver's rescue as his car burst into flames.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Police have arrested two men shortly after they were in a DUI crash that ended with firefighters having to pull one of them out from a burning building at about 6:30 on Thursday evening.

Police say both men were driving under the influence when their collision sent one of the cars crashing into a building on Blackstone and Bullard in north Fresno.


That sparked a fire in the building, which belongs to a business - Philips Barstools and Dinettes.

Authorities say the driver was trapped inside the fire and after crews managed to pull him out, he was rushed to hospital with major injuries to his leg and upper body.



He is now in critical but stable condition and has been arrested for felony DUI.

The driver of the other car has minor injuries and has been arrested for DUI, police say.
Video appears to show at least 15 firefighters at the scene, as they inspect the charred insides of the building.

The wrecked car is visible inside the storefront amid shattered glass and falling debris.



Southbound Blackstone near Bullard will be closed off for several hours as authorities investigate the incident.

A good Samaritan who witnessed the impact spoke exclusively to Action News, recounting the moments he ran to the driver's rescue as his car burst into flames.

"We just heard a big loud bang and crash.... Everybody was yelling - 'There's a person in the car still', so we broke the window trying to get the person out," said Rihaad Ali.

Ali said the driver who crashed into the building is lucky to be alive.

When Ali stepped out of his job at Blackstone Tire to investigate, he found a chaotic scene.

He saw a white car had crashed inside the building and a wrecked silver SUV sat next to it.

First responders were still on their way and as Ali's girlfriend frantically yelled, he ran into the building.

The smoke made it difficult to see.

But as he moved towards the car, he stepped on the stem of a broken wine glass.

"It went right through my foot and it was spewing everywhere," Ali said.

The car door wouldn't budge as flames shot out of the hood. Others tried helping from afar.

The smoke became too much and he was forced to leave the building. At that moment, firefighters and paramedics arrived and pulled the driver out.

Ali meanwhile also needed medical treatment from the wine glass, leaving his foot bandaged.

He says everyone should count their blessings tonight after escaping with their lives.

No one was inside the building at the time of the crash.
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