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Former IDF Soldier Saves Baby From Burning Car in London

Two worshippers, including former Israeli soldier, hailed as heroes after car explodes outside London synagogue.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 4/22/2014, 6:45 PM

Burning car (illustrative)
Burning car (illustrative)
Thinkstock

Two Jewish synagogue-goers, including a former IDF soldier, have been hailed as heroes after saving a baby and an elderly man from a car just moments before it was engulfed by flames outside a synagogue in north London.

The Israeli man, identified as "Shlomo" by locals, and fellow worshipper Moses Kuperman, jumped to the aid of the two after they became trapped in the car outside the synagogue on Craven Park Road, Tottenham.

The two rescuers were taking part in Sunday night prayers during the festival of Pesach (Passover), when worshippers heard the sound of an explosion, followed by screams, according to the Evening Standard.

Two other people had managed to flee the car in the moment before it burst into flames, but the elderly man was overcome by panic and remained trapped inside along with the baby.

"The people in the car realized there was going to be a problem and tried to get out, then fire started coming out," recounted Michael Block, who witnessed the incident.

"One of the men is called Shlomo and he is an ex-Israeli soldier. He judged that the car was not going to blow up straight away and went to help. He was very brave.

"The family in the car were beside themselves and in shock. Shlomo is a lovely chap and he hasn’t been in this country for very long.

"He is a well-meaning guy who saw there was a problem and went to try and help. He is definitely a local hero."

The two near-victims were taken into the synagogue to recover as emergency services arrived.

Authorities are not treating the explosion as suspicious.

This is not the first time a former Israeli serviceman has been lauded for rescue efforts in the UK. Last summer, two vacationing Israeli search-and-rescue team members helped rescue a mountain climber who had become trapped after falling 32 feet during a hike in Wales.