VIDEO: Officers Flip Burning Car To Save Woman Trapped Inside

Sandy Malone

Bridgeport police officers bravely flipped a burning car over to rescue a woman trapped inside it on Tuesday.

Bridgeport, CT – Bodycam video captured the moment on Tuesday morning when heroic Bridgeport police officers flipped a burning car over to rescue the trapped driver (video below).

Bridgeport Police Officer Kathleen Ramirez found the burning, single-car wreck at about 4:15 a.m. on Feb. 25 on Chopsey Hill Road, the Connecticut Post reported.

Bridgeport Director of Emergency Management and Communications Scott Appleby said the car was lying on its driver’s side and a woman was trapped inside of the burning vehicle.

Officer Ramirez tried to evacuate the woman from the car but she couldn’t reach her, the Connecticut Post reported.

Bridgeport Police Sergeant Joaquim DeBarros arrived next on the scene and tried to break the front window of the car to rescue the woman.

That’s when additional police officers arrived on the scene to help, the Connecticut Post reported.

Video showed that Bridgeport Police Sergeant Ken Fortes, Officer Chris Smith, Officer John Knapp, Officer James Motasky, Officer John Asik, Officer Mike Hernandez, and Officer Juan Bayas rushed to assist Sgt. DeBarros and Officer Ramirez around the burning vehicle, WTNH reported.

Sgt. DeBarros’ bodycam video showed the officers worked together and with a giant heave-ho, they flipped the flaming car back onto its wheels before firefighters arrived.

Then the video showed an officer carefully broke out the front window so police could extricate the victim before the entire car was engulfed in flames.

Video showed the officers scrambling to get themselves and the victim away from the car, but Sgt. DeBarros stayed behind.

Bodycam showed the sergeant looking around inside the burning car with his flashlight.

“Is there any kids in there at all?” Sgt. DeBarros asked the other officers. “Because we got a car seat in there.”

He continued to circle the burning wreck looking for signs of life inside it, the video showed.

“She told me she was by herself,” another officer hollered back a moment later.

Bridgeport firefighters arrived on the scene after the driver had been rescued and put out the fire, the Connecticut Post reported.

The woman was transported to the hospital. No information regarding her medical condition has been released.

“I am very proud of these officers and the way they worked as a team to save this female party,” Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez told WTNH in a statement. “The members of this department go above and beyond daily with the job of protecting our great community in an effort to ensure everyone goes home to their loved ones at the end of the day.”

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim echoed the police chief’s kudos to the officers.

“The men and women of the Bridgeport Police Department put their lives on the line every day in an effort to achieve the goal of saving and protecting lives,” the mayor said. “The Officers didn’t hesitate to put their lives in risk to save another, and due to their heroic efforts a life was saved.”

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Comments (36)

Great job officers!

No. 1-8

What took the FD so long to arrive? They had 9 officers on scene, before Bridgeport FD, a 100% career department with 9 staffed fire stations, including Station 12 which is 1.1 miles/3 minutes away from the crash scene. Not only that, but it is a very dangerous action to just flip a car back on it's wheels with a person inside, with is why no competent rescue crew would ever do this

I'm glad the officers were able to get her out (and I'm guessing she was minimally injured), but this isn't an example of what officers should be doing, unless there are no other options.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Peace Officer Appreciation/Memorial Day is May 15th.


They did what they had to in order to save the woman from potentially burning to death and they saved a life.
They are all heroes in my book and this story should be in the mainstream media but we all know it won't.


All cop cars should have extinguishers in them just for such a situation or home fires.


Heroes one and all!


If this happened in Phoenix, the citizens "Review Panel" would find the police guilty of destruction of private property.


I have read several of the comments here some good and some not.

I have been a LEO since 1985 and a vol firefighter since 1982. I have lots of certs in both.

In this situation you throw the rule book out the window when the car is on fire. You do what you got to do to save a life period. Better to compromise c-spine than sitting there waiting on the FD. If they did the lady woulda been burnt alive.

The only issue I have is why they didn’t have fire extinguishers in their cars. That’s on the budget folks. Every LEO car needs a fire extinguisher. I carry my issues one and I bought a big one.

For those of you said wait on the FD might need to answer 911 instead of responding to them lol.