National News

Police officers praised for helping save people trapped in burning car

Posted September 22, 2017 4:05 p.m. EDT

Five officers from the Atlanta Police Department are being hailed for their bravery after helping save the lives of two people trapped in a burning car early Wednesday.

When the officers arrived on the scene near Interstate 85, they found a car that had crashed into a support pillar. Flames were coming from the car's engine compartment and were quickly spreading.

The driver and passenger were seriously injured and couldn't get out, the APD said in a post on its Facebook page.

Body camera footage shows the officers using fire extinguishers from their patrol cars to suppress the fire while breaking the car's windows in an attempt to pull the occupants out. They were unable to free them, but kept the fire under control until the Atlanta Fire Department arrived on the scene.

Firefighters fully extinguished the flames and freed the driver and passenger from the car. Both were taken to a hospital and were in serious condition.

"These officers saw people in need, and they reacted immediately," police spokeswoman Officer Stephanie Brown told CNN. "We are proud of the way they came together and worked to save the people in the car, " Brown said.

Brown said that officers receive basic instructions on how to put out different types of fires during recruit training.

"It is difficult to say for sure what would have happened had they not acted, but according to firefighters on scene that night, we feel there was a high likelihood the occupants of the vehicle would not have survived," she said.