Police officers in Ridgefield, New Jersey, risked their lives on July 2 after discovering a man trapped inside a burning vehicle.
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Cops with the Ridgefield Police Department quickly jumped into action around 2 a.m. to try and rescue Chris Vagnone, 54, with their body cameras capturing the potentially-deadly ordeal.
Ridgefield Police Sergeant Nicolas Triano said Vagnone was in a panic, as officers initially tried to no avail to open the car doors. The intensity of the inferno put the officers’ lives at risk, but that didn’t stop them.
As they attempted to free him, the flames grew, according to WNBC-TV.
“It was an unfortunate situation that the electrical system failed. We couldn’t open any of the doors…we tried several times to get the doors open,” Officer Nicolas D’Alto told the outlet. “It’s difficult, especially when the flames are coming in, there’s glass. We know time is not on our side at that point.”
Despite the odds being stacked against them, the officers were able to smash a passenger window and pull Vagnone through just as flames began to overtake the car’s interior.
Screams can be heard as the officers raced against time; it was truly a close call.
“As soon as we took him out, those flames overtook the passenger compartment of the vehicle,” Police Sgt. Nicholas Triano told CBS News. “And it would have just been one second too late if we had done anything less than we did.”
Fortunately, Vagnone is recovering and faced only minor burns. He is thankful to the officers who saved his life, according to WNBC-TV.
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