Caught on camera: NYPD officers save man trapped inside burning car

A driver is lucky to be alive after NYPD officers risked their lives to rescue him out of his burning vehicle last month.

News 12 Staff

Dec 13, 2021, 10:25 PM

Updated 861 days ago

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A driver is lucky to be alive after NYPD officers risked their lives to rescue him out of his burning vehicle last month. 
Officer Ryan Zelman, an Army veteran with three years on the job, says Nov. 23 started out like any other day. 
"Just regular radio runs nothing crazy or out of the ordinary,” said Zelman. 
He says he and his partner, Mathew Djaafar, were on patrol along East Tremont Avenue in Throgs Neck. "When we approached Randall Avenue. came across a car that was on the sidewalk on fire,” said Zelman. 
He says he and Djaafar both jumped out of their car and ran towards the burning car. 
"Partner handed the fire extinguisher off to me and I tried to extinguish the fire as best I could,” said Zelman. 
They say the fire was so relentless, they quickly realized that the driver was still inside. 
"At that point, I just had a feeling this is going to go bad if we don't do something as quickly as possible,” said Zelman. 
Zelman says that with the flames growing, he opened the door and pulled the unconscious driver from the car. 
Both officers were hailed as heroes. 
News 12 is told the victim was treated for minor injuries.


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