CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Police make daring rescue, pull man from burning car
Police officers in Bergen County saved a man from a burning car, and it was all caught on camera.
The incident happened in Ridgefield Park and was all captured on the body camera of Sgt. Nicholas Triano – an 18-year police veteran. The driver was trapped inside the locked car while it was on fire.
“I told him, ‘Sir, you have to unlock the car and get out of the vehicle,’” Triano says. “Obviously, it wasn’t in the cards for him, so we had to go for him.”
The officers first tried to pry open the door, but the fire was becoming too intense. They next used a Halligan bar to break the windows. They first attempted to break the window on the driver’s side, but the flames were too close. They next tried the passenger’s side and pulled the driver to safety.
The fire department arrived soon after and put out the fire.
The incident happened in a parking lot at the intersection of Route 46 and Laurel Street. They believe the vehicle’s battery caught fire, rendering the locks and windows inoperable.
Police urge all motorists to purchase devices that can shatter car windows in an emergency.
“It could be a lifesaver if you have something to smash the window out and climb out if anything goes wrong,” Triano says.
News 12 spoke with the driver who was rescued by phone. He declined an on-camera interview, saying that he wants the focus to remain on the officers who saved him.
“These professionals are the ones that deserve the attention and praise for doing what they do best on a daily basis, and I am truly grateful for what they have done for me,” he said.
“At the time, you aren’t thinking of what danger you’re putting yourself in. Your only goal is getting this guy out of the car,” Triano says.
Ridgefield Park Officers D'Elia and D'Alto also got to the scene quickly to help make that rescue. They were not available to be interviewed.