Police Officer Rescues 95-Year-Old Woman During Hamden House Fire

A Hamden police officer rescued a 95-year-old woman from a house fire on Russo Drive Monday.

Fire officials said they were called to 240 Russo Drive around 3 p.m. Before fire crews arrived, a police officer who was traveling home from an extra-duty assignment heard the 911 call, knew he was nearby, and raced over to help.

"He arrived just prior to the firefighters, knocked on the front door. There was floor to ceiling black smoke. He ran around the back of the building and was able to get in the back door and encountered a 95-year-old female. He was able to carry her outside," Fire Chief Gary Merwede said. "There's no doubt in my mind this officer saved this woman's life today."

That woman was taken to Yale New Haven hospital for evaluation but is expected to be OK.

The officer has been identified as Sgt. Jason Venditto.

Merwede said the woman was still inside because she was looking for her cat. At this time the cat remains missing.

Three people who live in the home have been displaced and will stay with relatives.

Fire officials recommend that if your home catches fire that you immediately leave.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

No other details were immediately available.

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