Off-duty officer helps rescue 2 trapped at burning home
LYNDHURST (AP) — An off-duty police officer helped rescue two people trapped on the roof of a burning home in North Jersey.
Lyndhurst police tell The Record that officer Nick Abruscato was driving down Willow Avenue when he saw smoke coming from the home shortly before 4 a.m. Saturday.
He reported the fire, and several other officers soon arrived on scene. Meanwhile, a man and a woman trapped on the roof told them that the man who owned the residence might still be inside.
Two officers used a rescue ladder to get the two off the roof, while Abruscato and another officer tried to enter the home's lower levels to search for the homeowner.
Heavy smoke and fire forced them to retreat, but they soon determined the man was not in the home. He was later found at another site in the town.
The man and the woman were treated for smoke inhalation.
The pair told authorities that they woke to the smell of smoke and tried to go downstairs to alert the homeowner, but were forced back upstairs by the heavy smoke. They then called 911 and climbed out onto the roof to escape the smoke and fire,
No other injuries were reported in the blaze.
Authorities believe the fire may have started in the basement, but the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
- Cats killed, couple rescued in overnight Lyndhurst house fire / The Cliffview Pilot
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