Authorities say an off-duty northern New Jersey police officer who happened to drive by a burning multifamily home was able to enter the structure and lead several residents to safety.


David McNew, Getty Images

The Jersey Journal reports that Detective Douglas Paretti was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation following the rescues on Saturday afternoon, but was later released.

Paretti was driving with his wife when he saw flames shooting from the windows of the 3-story home on West Side Avenue. He ran into the home and helped those inside flee the structure, which sustained heavy damage.

None of the displaced residents were hurt in the two-alarm blaze, which was brought under control about an hour after it started.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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