Secaucus police officers save 4-year-old boy thrown from window of burning building


Six Secaucus police officers are being credited for saving a four-year-old boy, who was thrown from the window of a burning building, as well as rescuing his mother, authorities said.

From top left to right: Secaucus Police Officers Stephen Hurtuk, Nicholas Spangenberg, Jason Mitchell, Matthew Garzone, as well as Dets. Matthew Ford and Aniello Schaffer.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Yesterday at approximately 7:28 p.m., multiple 9-1-1 calls were received reporting an active fire within a unit in building “C” of 2 Radio Ave.

The first responding police officer, Nicholas Spangenberg, entered the apartment building and was immediately met with a substantial amount of smoke covering the hallway. He forced entry into the first floor apartment, which was on fire, and located a 56-year-old woman lying unconscious on the floor.

Spangenberg, along with Police Officer Jason Mitchell, and Det. Aniello Schaffer, carried the victim to safety and provided her with first aid. The victim suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over various parts of her body, officials said.

She is currently at Saint Barnabas Hospital and is listed in critical, but stable condition.

At this time, Det. Matthew Ford, joined by Police Officers Stephen Hurtuk and Matthew Garzone arrived at the scene.

A resident of an apartment on the second floor alerted officers to her inability to evacuate from her smoke filled apartment and threw her four-year-old son out the window to the officers below.

Ford, who was working in a plain clothes capacity, Hurtuk, and Garzone caught the child, who was unharmed.

The Secaucus Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Carl Leppin, safely evacuated the child’s mother and numerous other residents from the smoke filled building.

At this time, the fire is not deemed suspicious, but remains under investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Regional Office Arson Task Force, the Secaucus Police Detective Division and the Secaucus Bureau of Fire Prevention.

“At a time when some of the public sentiment surrounding police officers is negative, I think it is important to highlight the heroic actions of these officers,” Police Chief Dennis Miller said in a statement.

“Every day, our officers put their own lives and safety on the line to help and save others while serving this community. We are grateful for their heroism yesterday and every day and I couldn’t be prouder.”