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Three Suffolk County police officers rescue woman from burning Brentwood house, police say

Three Suffolk County police officers saved a woman from a burning house in Brentwood Thursday night. Officers Jesse Zuckerman, Darrell Randolph and Ronald Racioppi recounted the rescue during a news conference Friday, July 24, 2015, at the Suffolk police station in Bay Shore. (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

A woman who collapsed as flames engulfed her Brentwood home Thursday night was saved by three Suffolk police officers who fought heat and smoke to pull her to safety, police said.

Officers Jesse Zuckerman, Darrell Randolph and Ronald Racioppi of the Third Precinct were first to respond to a 911 call of a house fire on Eighth Avenue about 11:45 p.m., police said. The house was fully engulfed when they arrived, and a 71-year-old man was yelling that his wife, 67, was still inside, police said. Three children who were in the house when the fire started escaped without injury, police said.

Racioppi said Friday that it was a "split-second decision" to venture into the flames and smoke. He said he and the other two officers got low to the ground to avoid the flames and saw the woman's foot on the living room floor.

"You know what you're going into but you don't know what the outcome is going to be," Racioppi said. "But it's what you do."

Zuckerman said he grabbed the woman's left leg and, with help from Randolph and Racioppi, moved her through the front door to safety.

The Brentwood Fire Department extinguished the fire, police said.

Brentwood Legion Ambulance took the woman to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore to be treated for smoke inhalation, police said, and she was transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Police did not release the name of the family who lives in the house.

Though the Arson Squad was investigating, it appeared the fire was noncriminal, police said.

With Gary Dymski

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