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'Heroic Effort' Saves Unconscious Occupant From Burning Car

The fire resulted from a two-vehicle crash at North 22nd St. and East Cayuga.

An unconscious occupant trapped inside a burning vehicle was successfully pulled to safety Saturday night, June 15, in an incident that caused six patrol officers to be treated for smoke inhalation at Tampa General Hospital, according to a Tampa Police Department report.

The trapped individual reportedly sustained "non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital." A seventh officer did not request medical treatment.

According to the police report, patrol officers responded around 9:30 p.m. to the scene of the two-vehicle traffic crash, at North 22nd Street and East Cayuga Street. There, they found a 1994 Monte Carlo "on fire with an unconscious occupant trapped inside."

Working with fire extinguishers, the officers attempted to put out the fire. "As the fire continued to grow the officers had to forcibly pull the individual from the burning vehicle," the report continues. Their "heroic effort in removing the individual from the fully engulfed vehicle" saved his life. 

The seven police officers were reported as S. Purcell, J. Parsons, J.D. Byrne, D. Vinkenmulder, H. Stevens, A. Seligman and J. Stanjeski.

The six officers who were treated at Tampa General Hospital were released back to full duty, according to the report.

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