On December 1, 2007 officers responded to Branch Avenue and Iverson Street for a car accident. When Officer Nalesnik arrived, he discovered a car on its roof in the woods on fire. Corporal Dreher and Officers Nalesnik and Johnson observed gas leaking from the vehicle and immediately rushed to remove the occupant. The fire had grown and was burning out of control, spreading from the engine area into the passenger compartment. As the officers attempted to remove the driver from vehicle they realized his legs were pinned under the dash. Corporal Horner attempted to force the damaged driver’s door open to allow more room to access the driver.As the fire continued to burn into the passenger compartment, thick smoke obscured the officers’ view. After all attempts to rescue the driver from the vehicle failed, the officers focused on containing the fire and preventing the vehicle from exploding in an effort to save the man’s life. Corporal Dreher and Officers Nalesnik and Johnson retrieved fire extinguishers from their cruisers. Sergeant Thomas, and Officers Layton and Mooney, although just a few feet from the burning vehicle, maintained their dedication to duty by trying to comfort the victim while the other officers fought the fire. These officers courageously actions and willingly placed themselves at great risk during this potentially explosive situation to save a life and avert a tragedy.
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