A BJ's parking lot in Utica may look deserted and dry now, but on Saturday, it was a whole different scene.
"Water was rushing down the hill, but it was literally a river of water flowing straight through here,” said Michael Venettozzi, a former tow truck driver.
Venettozzi said water levels rose about four feet, stopping drivers in their tracks.
"As I was hooking up the first vehicle, a Volkswagen came through and that person's car immediately shut off,” said Venettozzi. “Water over the windshield. Water coming into the vehicle. She's yelling for help."
So, Venettozzi came to the rescue.
Then he helped two more people.
But not in an ordinary uniform — in his underwear.
"I decided to take my clothes off and keep my underwear on because it was better to be dubbed 'Captain Underpants' than 'Captain Commando,'” said Venettozzi. “In all seriousness, I thought people were in danger and I acted upon that."
Venettozzi, now known as "Captain Underpants," says he also didn't want to be stuck in wet clothes all day.
"I just needed to go help people,” said Venettozzi. “I thought of my kids, my wife my family. I didn't think about the trucks. I didn't think about my safety."
But his good intentions landed him in hot water at work.
Venettozzi says his boss fired him. But, the Johnston's Auto Body owner says this isn't true and Venettozzi failed to follow protocol.
He says a person could've been injured or the equipment could've been damaged.
"I'm going to say they are absolutely correct, but that wasn't on my mind when someone needed help,” said Venettozzi. “The equipment could be replaced, but the family can't."
Despite the outcome, Venettozzi says he wouldn't have done anything differently.
"I'm not ashamed,” said Venettozzi. “Cause I would hope someone would do the same thing I did."
Venettozzi says tow truck companies from in and out of New York State are asking him to join their team.
In the meantime, Venettozzi's friend created a GoFundMe page to help him financially.
So far, people have donated more than $1,500.