Barnegat Officer Pulls Man From Burning Car [VIDEO]
Dramatic footage of rescue captured on patrol car camera
A Barnegat police officer rescued a man from a car fully engulfed in flames in a bayfront neighborhood Monday evening, and a patrol car camera captured the incident.
Watch the video on YouTube here.
Officers Lauren Keilitz and Michael Diblasi responded to a neighbor's report of a car fire on Biscayne Road off Bayshore Drive at 8:44 p.m., said Lt. Keith Germain of the Barnegat Township Police Department in a press release Tuesday.
When Keilitz opened the 2005 BMW's rear passenger door and looked through the thick smoke, she realized that Mario Dischiavi, 57, was incapacitated inside the burning vehicle, Germain said.
Diblasi attempted to open the driver's side door, Germain said, but when he couldn't get the latch to release, he ran back to the patrol car to retrieve a window punch to break into the BMW.
Keilitz can be heard repeatedly yelling "Get out of the car!" in an audio recording of the incident.
Despite the flames, Keilitz was able to open the driver's side door, pull Dischiavi from the car and drag him to safety, said Germain. Dischiavi was tranported to Southern Ocean Medical Center where he was treated for smoke inhalation. Keilitz was uninjured.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire. In the video, Dischiavi's car appears to be parked in the driveway in front of a house. A recording of a Johnny Cash song can be heard playing in the burning vehicle.
Germain said Keilitz is an eight-year veteran of the Barnegat Police Department. She serves as a member of the department's patrol division and is an agency firearms instructor. Officer Michael Diblasi is a nine-year veteran of the Barnegat Police Department and serves as a member of the patrol division.