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'They are true heroes': Phoenix police officers rescue man from burning vehicle

A man is alive today thanks to the heroic efforts of two Phoenix police officers.

PHOENIX — A man is alive today thanks to the heroic efforts of two Phoenix police officers. 

On Monday, the Phoenix Police Department released bodycam footage showing the dramatic rescue. The incident occurred in the early morning of March 25 near 32nd and Osborn Ave.

Officers Rudy Castillo and Joel Kaminsky are seen in the new video running towards the SUV as flames were engulfing it. The 55-year-old man inside is believed to have had a medical issue that caused him to swerve off the road and right into Maegan Scruggs' front yard on Osborn Ave in Phoenix.  

“I woke up about 6:30 am. and I hear this like, 'boom',” says Scruggs.

Castillo and Kaminsky, each with 20 years of service in the department, were nearby when they got the call.  

“I looked over at [Castillo] and said, 'we’re gonna be the first one’s there,'” said Kaminsky.

The driver was unconscious and the windows and doors were locked. In the video, Kaminsky can be seen trying to break the window with a window breaking tool but unsuccessful.  

Castillo then asks Scruggs' husband if he has a blunt object. Earlier, Scruggs husband tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher, but it didn’t work. 

“My husband threw the extinguisher at him and he broke the window with that,” says Scruggs.

Once the man was pulled to safety from the vehicle, Kaminsky, not realizing he himself suffered a hand injury from the broken window, started to perform CPR to revive the man.

“C’mon buddy,” Kaminsky pleaded as he performed chest compressions.  “You got this, come back.”

Phoenix Fire arrived and took over medical treatment and treated Officer Kaminsky’s injured hand.

The two officers say they were just doing what they were trained to do.

“To give something back to the community, it’s a good feeling,” said Officer Castillo. “It’s a first responder for a reason and we were first there and we were able to be successful and it’s very rewarding,”  Kaminsky added. 

Scruggs says that she can’t express her gratitude enough to those who protect us and put their lives on the line. 

“Me personally, I think that they are true heroes.”

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