Publix Employee Honored for Heroic Actions After Plantation Plaza Explosion

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  • Publix awarded Garcia with a plaque and gold coin, one of the highest honors by the company.

They met in the midst of a crisis – Matt Seese, stunned and disoriented, was bleeding in the parking lot of a Plantation shopping plaza moments after a massive explosion blew him to the ground.

Christian Garcia, a Publix employee and certified EMT, came running from the grocery store next door to help. He took off his belt and wrapped it around Seese’s leg, which had several deep cuts.

Garcia, with help from a few others, moved Seese away from the blast fearing there could be more, until paramedics arrived.

Four months later, Seese and Garcia met again for the first time. They exchanged a strong hand shake and Seese said, “I’ve been wanting to tell you thank you, because that was amazing what you did.”

“No problem, anytime,” said Garcia smiling.

Publix awarded Garcia with a plaque and gold coin, one of the highest honors by the company, for responding to Seese’s needs in the chaos back on July 6th.

A preliminary report by Florida’s Fire, Arson and Explosions investigators confirmed a gas explosion occurred about 11:30am on Saturday July 6th, after a meter at the abandoned PizzaFire restaurant at the Market on University plaza was turned on about four hours prior.

Several businesses were closed for the July 4th holiday weekend. Still, 22 people were hurt with Seese the most seriously. 19 businesses were forced to close and remain closed today. The building where the explosion occurred has since been demolished.

Investigators have yet to determine who turned on the meter the morning of the explosion.

For Seese today was about thanking the man who didn’t think twice about rushing into chaos to help save his life. Garcia says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

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