Couple caught in car fire helped by stranger

Dan Smith

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It was a special day for Jess Sell as he stayed home from a winter storm and went shopping.

But her special day changed when she got a call from her husband.

"He was like, 'I think I need to get out,'" Jess Sell said. "I asked him why, and he said, 'Because I think your car is on fire.' I was like, 'What do you think of me now?'

Sel returned to the sight of his car in flames and tried to push the others away for fear it would explode.

“This guy pulled over in an SUV and I said, 'Move the car,'” recalls Sell. "And he's like, 'No, I'm here to help you.' And I'm like, 'Oh, are you at the fire station?' And he's like, "No."

A total stranger pulled over to give Sel his winter clothes. She didn't realize that she was only wearing a hoodie and dress her pants in subzero temperatures.

"She's blocking traffic with just her coat, her bag and no gloves," said Jeremy Hanson, who stopped by to help. “I gave her a vest, I gave her some gloves like this. It was flowing."

"I didn't know how cold I was at that moment because tears were on my face," Sel said.

Jeremy Hanson says he acted to ensure safety. This, he says, was instilled in him from his years of experience in law enforcement and UPS.

"I feel like it's my way to give back," Hanson said. "People are like, 'Well, why are you doing that?' Because I wanted to help him."

But what they did guarantee was the belief that they could always stop by to help someone, even if it was a stranger, especially during the holidays.

“One should not be afraid to help others,” Sel said. "That's how we build community, that's how we build relationships."

"You don't know where good deeds go," Hanson said. "You might end up being really good friends with that person, but you never know. You need it now, especially when you're on vacation."