Man Panics as Car Catches on Fire After Electrical Failure, Trapping Him Inside Until Police Arrive

On July 2, shortly after midnight on his way home from work, 54-year-old Chris Vagnone found himself in a very dangerous situation that nearly claimed his life. Vagnone was in his Honda Accord at around 2:00 a.m. in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, when his car experienced some sort of electrical malfunction and started to burn. Due to the nature of the problem, Vagnone was locked in, unable to exit his vehicle as flames danced up from the hood and started to consume the car. When police arrived, the man was in quite a state, and they tried to calm him down while also trying to find a way to extricate him from the vehicle. “He was panicked, and I just told him, you know, ‘You have to get out of the car, you have to unlock the car,” Ridgefield Police Sgt. Nicolas Triano told WNBC-TV. While the sergeant ran to find something to open the door, two other officers worked to get Vagnone out the window. “It was an unfortunate situation that the electrical system failed,” officer Nicolas D’Alto said. “We couldn’t open any of the doors.” “It’s difficult, especially when the flames are coming in, there’s glass. We know that time isn’t on our side at that point.” Eventually, officers used extinguishers on the flames, buying D’Alto and Triano precious moments during which they were able to finally pull Vagnone from the burning sedan. Once removed from the Honda, Vagnone was treated on the scene for minor burns and released. “It was all very traumatic,” Vagnone recalled. “Everything happened very fast. Now I just want to move forward and be thankful that I made it out thanks to those officers from the Ridgefield Park Police Department.” The Ridgefield Park Police Department also posted on Facebook to recognize the work of some of its finest. “Over the weekend, our officers risked their lives to help save a motorist who became trapped in his burning vehicle,” the post from July 5 reads. “We commend them for their bravery, and this is another example of the dedication the RPPD has to its community!” Police also recognized good Samaritan Elias Rodriguez, who stopped to help. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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