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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NFL

Anthony Thomas rushes to pull man from burning car

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Running back Anthony Thomas of the Chicago Bears helped rescue a man from a burning car.

The 2001 rookie of the year was on his way to visit teammate David Terrell late Sunday when he and his wife, Hayley, saw a smoldering car on the road in unincorporated Lake County.

"The car was smoking at first, but it wasn't really on fire," Thomas said. "But when I got there and I pulled over, it sounded like, 'Boom,' and then a tire popped and a big fire blew out.

"When you see a car fire, you never know if it's going to blow up or not. ... I was trying to get the guy away from the car and get me and my wife away from the car."

No one was injured. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and extinguished the blaze.

The Bears had a bye Sunday.

"Good time to have a bye week, I guess," Bears Coach Dick Jauron said. "I'm glad I gave him the time off. He was in the right place at the right time."

Terrell spread the word to players and media at team headquarters.

"We've got a superhero on the team now," Terrell said. "He saved a guy's life, and I thought that you all should know that."

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