Two postal workers are being recognized for saving the life of a tanker truck driver when his rig overturned and caught fire.

It was one of the most dramatic crash scenes in recent Maine history. A tanker truck, driven by 54-year-old Mark Tuttle of Albion, burst into flames after a crash in Belgrade. Tuttle had been traveling on Route 27 when an SUV pulled into his path. All I could think, as I wrote about the story, was how the truck's driver could possibly have escaped the fire?

The credit goes to 29-year-old Nick Claudel and 62-year-old Joe Arsenault, who work as mail carriers out of the Belgrade Post office. When the post office was evacuated because of the burning fuel oil, the Kennebec Journal reports the two men ran toward the crash. They knew the driver was still inside and went to help him, despite the flames that were already shooting out of the back of the truck and spreading to the front. They were so quick to respond that the wheels on the truck were still spinning. In less than a minute after pulling Tuttle through the passenger-side window, the truck erupted into a wall of flame. It was so close to the post office that the siding melted on the front of the building.

Claudel and Arsenault both credited their military backgrounds with prompting them to run toward the flames, knowing someone was still in the truck. Both men received commendations from the U.S. Postal Service for their quick-thinking and bravery.

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