Secaucus mom drops boy from burning building to police below
SECAUCUS — Police officers responding to an apartment building fire Wednesday afternoon are being hailed as heroes for saving a 4-year-old child dropped from a second-floor window and rescuing a burned and unconscious woman from the building.
Officers arriving at Building C of the Chateau Gardens apartments on Radio Avenue first encountered a great deal of smoke in the first-floor hallway.
They found a 56-year-old woman was unconscious on the floor, according to police.
Officer Nicholas Spangenberg enlisted help from Officer Jason Mitchell and Detective Aniello Schaffer to carry out the woman and administer first aid. She suffered second- and third-degree burns and was hospitalized at the Burn Center at Saint Barnabas in Livingston, police said.
Another resident told police that she and her son could not escape her second-floor apartment. The mother dropped the child out the window feet first to the officers below, according to police. The boy was caught by Detective Matthew Ford and Officers Stephen Hurtuk and Matthew Garzone, who rushed him away from the building and offered him a hug and reassurance.
The boy's mother, identified as "Maxine O.," told Patch of Secaucus that smoke alarms went off but there was no fire escape. She told Patch that firefighters got her and her husband out of the apartment.
"Every day our officers put their own lives and safety on the line to help and save others while serving this community. We are grateful to their heroism and every day I couldn't be prouder," police Chief Dennis Miller said in a written statement.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is not considered suspicious.
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