UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Nassau County police officer without protective gear ran into a burning home and saved three residents in Uniondale.
Officer Matthew Andoos of the First Precinct was on routine patrol when he saw smoke billowing from the second story of a Union Drive home and heard people screaming for help Tuesday evening.
“I couldn’t see the road in front of me there was so much smoke,” Andoos told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
He sprang into action and ran into the house.
“There was some good Samaritans inside, I told everybody please exit the building, I’d make sure everyone was safely evacuated,” Andoos told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “There were two girls who were screaming, ‘my father’s still inside, my father’s still inside, he’s trapped, he’s trapped.'”
Andoos, who was wearing a regular police uniform without any protective gear, went back into the burning home to look for the father, who was in the basement.
“I didn’t see an entry to the basement from where I was standing and I didn’t want to proceed any further because the smoke was so thick,” Andoos said. “I went back outside again, I said, ‘is there another way into the basement?’ They said around back, so I ran around the back of the house, I said ‘sir, your house is on fire, you gotta get out of the house.'”
The Uniondale Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated for a broken ankle; Andoos was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
“Everything happened in such a blink of an eye,” Andoos said. “I really wasn’t thinking, I just wanted to make sure everybody was out of the house.”
Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki hailed the officer’s courage.
“He is in fact the hero,” Skrynecki said.
None of the residents were injured.
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