80ºF

Firefighters rescue girl from hot car in Jax Beach

Mom says doors automatically locked as she was putting girl in back seat

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Firefighters pulled a girl with special needs from a hot car Wednesday afternoon in Jacksonville Beach, WJXT reports.

The girl's mother said the doors locked automatically as she put her 6-year-old daughter, Lilly, who has autism, in the back seat. Lilly's mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Liz, was there the entire time.

Lilly is OK.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. near the Target store in South Jacksonville Beach.

Some newer luxury and sports cars lock on their own, and that's what Liz said happened. Her cellphone was also locked inside, so she ran to a nearby FedEx store and asked to use the phone to call 911.

At the time, the outside temperature was about 84 degrees, which means temperatures inside the car were even hotter.

"Put my daughter in the car, put the keys in the seat and everything closed at once," Liz said. "I called 911 like, immediately."

Three Jacksonville Beach firefighters quickly arrived and worked to free Lilly from the car.

"She is not able to speak and communicate, so she wasn't able to help unlock the doors," Liz said.

The firefighters quickly grabbed tools designed for getting into cars and went to work, at the same time making sure that Lilly was OK.

In just a few minutes, rescuers got one of the back doors open. Liz said hearing the car alarm, triggered by the door unlocking, was a huge relief.

"Thankfully, I did not have anything bad happen," Liz said.

Lilly is just fine and Liz is thankful for the three men, who are now her heroes.

"I gave one of them a hug," Liz said. "I shook their hands. I was like, 'I want to take you out to dinner.' I was very excited."

One of the firefighters said they would have broken the window if they had to, but thankfully Lilly wasn't in any distress and they were able to get her out before it got too hot inside the car.