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Man who bent car door to save driver dubbed 'real-life Superman'

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The man who bent the door frame of a car to help rescue another man from a burning vehicle in New Brighton over the weekend is being called a real-life Superman, and his story of "super-human strength" is being told across the globe.

Michael Johannes, 51, of Minneapolis, was trapped inside his SUV after it caught fire Sunday on Interstate 35W in New Brighton. The electric locks and windows in his car wouldn't work, and he tried to kick the windows out, but failed.

That's when 52-year-old Robert "Bob" Renning, a Minnesota Air National Guardsman who lives in Woodbury, ran over to the car, and with his bare hands, bent the framing around the window, shattering the glass, and pulling Johannes to safety, state police said.

On Tuesday, Johannes and Renning met up for a celebratory beer, where Johannes was able to thank Renning in person for the first time since the rescue, WCCO reports. The reunion was featured on CBS This Morning Wednesday (video above).

"I still don't know how I did this, but I managed to get my fingers in behind the door frame along the top and just started pulling until the glass shattered," Renning told CBS.

"I saw the light towards the passenger's side and I just went for it. And then he grabbed my hands and just pulled me out and we rolled into the ditch," Johannes told CBS.

Johannes was treated for smoke inhalation and got a few cuts and scrapes. He's still dealing with emotional wounds, but he's grateful to be alive.

He told KARE 11, "Someone risked their own life to save mine, that's all I can really say, that is the emotional part."

"I owe a debt of gratitude to Bob – he saved my life," Johannes told CBS while fighting back tears. He added that he's grateful his 7-year-old daughter doesn't have to live without a father like he did – his father died when he was young.

"He did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person," said State Trooper Zachary Hill. "I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive."

Renning says he was just doing what anyone else would have done if they saw someone in trouble, adding that Johannes was the one who showed true courage.

"I can't even imagine what he was going through inside that car. He kept calm and cool about the whole process, and I think that's amazing," Renning told CBS.

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