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NY firefighter hailed for off-duty rescue in Connecticut

BROOKFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A suburban New York firefighter said that his instinct and training kicked in when he spotted a burning car on a Connecticut roadside this weekend and went on to rescue the injured driver.

Nicholas Perri Jr. was off-duty, driving home from work, and didn’t have firefighting gear when he saw the blazing vehicle on the side of Route 7 near Brookfield early Saturday morning. But he pulled over, ran to the fire and “did the best I could do,” he told NBC Connecticut.

“I used every ounce of muscle and adrenaline possible,” Perri told the news station in a story published Sunday.

He said he broke the front passenger-side window and was able to pull the driver through it after struggling a bit to free one of her legs, which was mangled.

“I said, ‘Listen, you have to work with me because we’re running out of time here,'” he told the news station.

Brookfield volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel arrived to find Perri guiding the driver to them. She was taken to a hospital.

Brookfield Fire Chief Andrew Ellis is convinced the woman would have died without Perri’s help.

“There is no doubt in my mind,” Ellis told NBC Connecticut.