Dramatic video shows man being pulled from burning car by officers in New Jersey

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Thursday, July 7, 2022
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A police officer's bodycam recorded three officers rescuing a man from a burning car, pulling him to safety through a window, in New Jersey Saturday. Anthony Johnson has the story.

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. (WABC) -- A police officer's bodycam recorded three officers rescuing a man from a burning car, pulling him to safety through a window, in New Jersey Saturday.

According to police, the officer first on the scene of a reported car fire just before 2 a.m. on Winant Avenue in Ridgefield Park discovered the driver unable to get out of the vehicle.

He and two other officers who arrived shortly after tried to get the man out through the driver's side window, but they were forced back by the intense flames and heat, authorities said.

They were able to put out some of the fire using extinguishers, which allowed them to grab the man and pull him out through the passenger side window.

"The first time we tried pulling him out of the driver side window, but I think due to steering window and some other elements we weren't able to do so, so we made the quick decision to go to the passenger side and that's when we were able to safely extricate him," Sgt. Nichols Triano said.

The officers administered first aid as firefighters arrived to put out the fire.

The man was apparently OK.

The owner of the 2010 Honda Accord told Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Johnson that the vehicle's electrical system failed so he couldn't escape as the flames were getting closer and smoke was filling the car.

"I was just so nervous I wasn't really paying too much attention, I was more concerned with getting out and getting away from it," victim Christopher Vagnone said.

He said it was a traumatic experience, but is grateful for the officers who pulled him out to safety.

Police said he was eventually released to a family member on scene.

ALSO READ: Man frustrated after Queens home set ablaze by illegal fireworks from nearby July 4th party

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