(BARNEGAT, N.J.) — Two New Jersey police officers pulled a man from his burning car in a dramatic rescue that was caught on tape by a dashboard camera in the officers’ cruiser.
Barnegat, N.J., police officers Lauren Keilitz and Michael Diblasi responded to reports of a fire in a residential neighborhood around 8 p.m. Monday, authorities from the Barnegat Police Department said.
When they arrived, they discovered a car parked in the driveway of one of the neighborhood’s two-story homes fully enveloped in flames.
“Fully involved,” one of the officers can be heard saying in the video, right before both officers rushed to the burning car, a 2005 BMW 745.
Police say Keilitz and Diblasi found a man, described as “incapacitated,” sitting in the car’s driver seat, but were unable to reach him because the driver’s door was stuck.
Diblasi, a nine-year veteran of the police force, ran back to the patrol car to retrieve a window punch, which he then used to smash through the window, department spokesman Lt. Keith Germain told the Asbury Park Press.
Keilitz, on the force for eight years, was then able to open the driver’s door and pull the man, identified as Mario Dischiavi, from the burning vehicle.
Dischiavi, 57, who lives at the home where the car was parked, was seen by neighbors listening to music inside the vehicle before it caught fire, Germain said.
He was treated for smoke inhalation at a nearby hospital and is now recovering at home.
Neither Keilitz nor Diblasi suffered any injuries in the rescue.
The cause of the vehicle fire remains under investigation.
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