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Officer alerts a sleeping family to fire

Associated Press / March 23, 2009
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EAST ROCKAWAY, N.Y. - An off-duty Long Island police officer saved a family of five when he noticed smoke coming from their home and woke them up, authorities said yesterday.

Nassau County authorities said the officer was on his way home yesterday morning when he saw the smoke at an East Rockaway home. They say he rang the bell and banged on the door until the residents woke.

Two adults and three teenagers escaped without injury. The officer's name wasn't immediately disclosed.

The house sustained extensive damage, officials said. It took 75 firefighters to battle the blaze. The fire did not appear to be suspicious, according to investigators.

Police in California said one of their own also rescued a 66-year-old man from a house fire yesterday. Burbank police said Officer Kerry Schilf was on traffic control at the Pasadena Marathon when he heard about the fire a block away. Schilf ran to the house, kicked down a door, and led the homeowner to safety.

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