CRANFORD, NJ – Four patients and two police officers were sent for medical evaluation following a fire in an air conditioning unit at the Birchwood Avenue Nursing Facility on May 3.
The Cranford Police Department Communications Center received a 911 call around 7:39 p.m. that reported an active fire, according to a press release sent by Detective Sergeant Ryan Greco of the CPD.
CPD Officer Gregory Federici and Detective Thomas Stiansen arrived on the scene to see heavy smoke coming from the building and reports that two patients were trapped in a first-floor room. The patients screams for help could be heard from outside the building, according to the press release.
Federici and Stiansen, with the help of members of the CFD, rescued the patients by breaking a window and evacuating the occupants through the window to staff members outside, according to the press release.
“The heroic efforts of the officers involved in this incident, and the collaborative teamwork put forth by police and fire services, undoubtedly saved lives,” Police Chief James Wozniak said in the press release.
Federici and Stiansen were treated and released for smoke inhalation at St. Barnabas Hospital. Four patients from the facility were sent to nearby hospitals for evaluation, according to the press release.