NEWARK, NJ — In the midst of combating a blaze on North 6th Street, Newark police officers rescued an elderly woman by carrying her to safety this weekend.
As firefighters fought a 2-alarm blaze at 45 North 6th St. early Saturday morning, two officers from the Metro Unit carried a 76-year-old woman to safety, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.
Officers Roberto Vera and Alicia Lauderdale responded to the call at three three-story residential building on North 6th Street at about 1:45 a.m. on Saturday.
After knocking on apartment doors, the officers located the 76-year-old woman on the third floor and noticed she was having difficulty walking. In order to help the woman evacuate the building, officials said Vera immediately put her on his shoulders and carried her down three flights of stairs with the assistance of Lauderdale. The officers then helped the victim to a safe location across the street.
Both officers subsequently responded to University Hospital in Newark for treatment of smoke inhalation and were released soon after, authorities said. Another victim was taken to University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries after jumping to safety from a rear upper window of 45 N. 6th St., and an injured firefighter was treated at the scene by EMS and released, officials reported.
“I commend officers Vera and Lauderdale for their quick-thinking and for treating this resident as they would a family member,” Ambrose said. “As the fire was spreading to nearby homes, this senior resident could have been trapped had it not been for the heroic efforts of these two selfless officers.”
The fire was considered under control at 3:19 a.m. Four families, comprising 11 adults and six children, were displaced by the incident.
The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation by members of the Newark Fire Division’s Arson Unit.