A Barnegat man discovered inside his burning car Monday night is alive and uninjured thanks to the quick action of local Police Officers.

Patrolmen Michael Diblasi and Lauren Keilitz say they arrived at the Biscayne Road residence after getting calls from neighbors and found the vehicle fully engulfed. “We were pretty surprised to find that there was someone in a car that was on fire to that degree.”

Listen to a conversation with Officer Keilitz

Keilitz says 57-year-old Mario Dischaivi appeared to be incoherent when they attempted to get his attention. “and we’re yelling at him to get out of the car it’s on fire. He seemed to have no idea the car was on fire.”

Officer Diblazi broke the drivers side window and Keilitz pulled him out. “He was wearing a leather jacket and I was able to kind of really get a good grab of the jacket and just kind of pulled him and pulled him until I was able to get him to his feet.”

Keilitz says Dischaivi told them “that he was sitting in his car and he was listening to music and for an unknown reason at this time he may have passed out. When we first opened the doors he was looking at us but he wasn’t responding. He was kind of incoherent.”

However, not many people would run to a burning car and reach into the flames for a rescue. Keilitz says they were probably operating on pure adrenaline. “I think you just kind of go into that mode of you know, you’ve got to get something done and you have to do it very quickly and there’s really not much time to think about much else other than “let’s just get this guy out and get ourselves and everybody away from this car.”

Keilitz and her partner are reluctant to accept the hero title. “It’s tough because it’s one of those things where you expect these things to happen and this is the job you signed up to do and you’re aware that you can be in a dangerous situation in any second but it’s also nice to be recognized that this is what people in our profession do.”

The police car recorders captured the dramatic images.


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