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It is not every day that you watch a human being tear a car door off with their bare hands, but as of Friday, March 2, I can now say that I have witnessed it twice. The first time was back in 2002 before I came to The Day. I was working for a paper in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was on my way into work when I heard a serious accident reported on my scanner. Immediately, I responded to the scene. A car had collided head-on with a dump truck, and before firefighters could deploy extrication tools, one firefighter managed to pull the driver's door clean off the car. I was totally amazed. The photo ended up in my portfolio because I figured that I would never see that happen again.
I was wrong. Jumping ahead to last Friday morning, I was once again driving to work when I heard lots of scanner traffic about a serious car accident just over the New London line in Waterford on Broad Street, and as in 2002, I went straight to the scene. I arrived to find the car heavily impacted on the tree and Waterford firefighters getting extrication tools to free the driver from the car. Then it happened. Two firefighters grabbed the driver door and with as much force as they could muster, all but peeled the door off, bending it up to the front fender (or what was left of it) on the car. Firefighters then used an extrication tool to fully remove the door. What are the chances of that? Twice, covering two accidents on my way to work, where firefighters all but overcame the laws of physics to help those in need.