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Four Men Credited with Saving Victim at Harrington Gas Station Explosion 

A Hancock man is in critical condition, after his medical delivery truck crashed into an Irving station in Harrington Monday morning, igniting a fiery explosion.Four men are being credited with pulling 62-year old Gardiner Crabtree out of his burning vehicle.Joy Hollowell talked with one those heroes just a few hours after it happened.========Mark Schoppee says he didn’t hear the explosion but realized there was a problem when the fire tones started going off.Moments earlier, police say 62 year old Gardiner Crabtree has driven his medical delivery truck into another car that was getting gas at the Irving on Route One in Harrington. The truck then ran into one of the fuel pumps, igniting a fireball. Crabtree was trapped in his burning truck when Schoppe and his friends, Brandon Lovejoy and Nicholas Graham arrived on scene.”At that point, the flames was rolling out the cab above his head, out the windows,” says Schoppee.To make matters worse, Crabtree was about to make a medical delivery, and his truck was filled with more than one thousand pounds of liquid oxygen.”I managed to get the door open and get a hold of him,” says Schoppee. “At that point, he was grabbing onto the steering wheel and he was blank straight off, like he, he was in rough shape.”A fourth man, Terry Grant, reached in and cut Crabtree out of his seat belt. “Yeah, it was getting warm,” says Schoppee. “He only had seconds left at that point.”Schoppee says he and his two friends then dragged Crabtree out of the truck. Moments later, fire fighters arrived. Harrington Fire Chief David Baldwin says Irving’s fire suppression did go off, but the flames were too intense to completely put it out.”Our first truck in, he hit it very hard with a deck gun,” says Chief Baldwin. “He had 1,250 gallon and he was able to knock it down.”No one was injured in the car that Crabtree hit. But Terry Grant, and a worker inside the Circle K store were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Authorities believe Crabtree had some sort of medical problem right before he crashed.”I wouldn’t call myself a hero,” says Schoppee, “just somebody that wants to help anyone I can.”========Raymonde Houde, Debra Hanscom, Marcia Coffin and Kathryn Richmond were in the car that Crabtree hit. They managed to drive the vehicle away before the explosion occurred.Crabtree was originally taken to Downeast Community Hospital in Machias, then taken by medical helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.Route One was closed down for about an hour while fire fighters worked to put out the fire.Local authorities credit team work between the Pleasant River fire district, local police, ambulance crews, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service and a game warden for keeping the situation under control.