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Franklin police officers rescue woman from burning home

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Franklin police officers rescue elderly woman from burning home

Just before midnight on Wednesday, Franklin police officers rescued an elderly woman from a burning home.  The site of the incident occurred on Spruce Street in the Somerset section of the township.

According to NJ.com, emergency operators received a 911 call around 11:52 p.m. about a structure fire.  Shortly after authorities arrived at the scene, it was discovered that a 78-year-old woman was still inside the home.  The woman’s 58-year-old daughter told Police Officers Deyo Swartz and Steven Ellmyer that her mother was still in her bedroom.

Franklin Police spokesman Philip Rizzo stated that the two officers proceeded to force entry into the home through the rear door.  However, met with heavy smoke and flames, Swartz and Ellmyer had to retreat after only making their way 15 feet inside.

As they were exiting, Officers Brian Quiqley, Walter Skrobowski and Nicholas Gambino arrived on the scene.  At that time, the daughter told officers where her mother’s bedroom was and they broke the window, trying to communicate with the woman.

NJ.com reported that Gambino then entered the home through the bedroom window, but the elderly woman was not in the room.  Swartz returned to the rear of the home, where he heard Skrobowski yelling that he had located the 78-year-old woman inside.  Swartz entered the home and assisted Skrobowski carry the woman out of the home.

Medical personnel from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital treated the woman at the scene for smoke inhalation and a minor shoulder injury.  She was cleared at the incident and did not have to be transported to the hospital.  Swartz, Ellmyer, Skrobowski and Gambino were also treated for smoke inhalation and released at the scene.

Rizzo stated that firefighters from Community, East Franklin, New Brunswick and Bound Brook Fire Companies responded to the fire.  The Franklin Township Office of Fire Prevention conducted the investigation into the fire.  It was determined that the blaze was started by a lit candle that had been left unattended.

The residents of the uninhabitable home are staying with family members in the area.

 

“I am very proud of all of the officers on the scene,” Franklin Police Chief Lawrence W. Roberts said. “Their quick thinking and sure actions brought a positive conclusion to what could have been a very tragic event.”

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