"It was extremely loud, I mean it was like an explosion, but it was a concussion you know it hit and then there was another one," said Novice resident Jerry Bowen.
It was at that moment Bowen knew something had gone terribly wrong.
"We could see smoke still going down the tracks so I just turned that way where I knew the crossing was and I could get to it when it did stop," he said.
He arrived to see the aftermath of a tractor trailer hit head-on by an oncoming train.
The driver was still inside and Bowen knew he had little time.
"The train had stopped and the truck was already on fire and you couldn't see anybody sitting up in the truck so I parked and jerked the door open and jumped into the truck," he said.
Danger was the last thing on his mind.
"I said we've just got a minute we've just go to go," said the 54 year-old.
The truck was dragged six blocks until it ended up at the location where Bowen was able to help the driver out of the vehicle.
Pieces of the truck still remain on the tracks.
The Novice volunteer firefighter was quickly joined by other bystanders like Jessie Cantu.
"I picked him up by his arms and I grabbed his legs and we slid him out and we got him out on the ground and started CPR on him," said Cantu.
Neither men consider themselves heroes.
"I do it because that's what I do, you know, help everybody I can," said Cantu.
"If I get in a bind like that I hope somebody will stop and do something like that for me," said Bowen.
They were eventually told that driver, Vergil Birmingham died from his injuries.
As they look back, both of the volunteer firefighters attribute their heroic actions to that heavy rush they've felt before.
"It's just the thing that if you think you have enough time to do it then you do it," said Bowen.
Both of the men say they there were several others who also came to help, including Coleman resident Stephen Allen Kirkpatrick.
Coleman police told us the tractor trailer was transporting 30 head of cattle, however the trailer was separated from the cab before being dragged by the train.
Officials confirm that the cattle being transported by that vehicle are okay.
They were later taken by another truck from the same company Birmingham was working for.