Officers pull driver from burning vehicle near popular Hamden restaurant

Hamden police cruisers (File).

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police officers rescued a driver stuck inside a burning vehicle early Monday morning near a restaurant in Hamden.

According to officials, police responded to the area of Dixwell Avenue and Benham Street around 2:30 am. A witness told police that the driver was still in the car, as heavy smoke filled up inside.

Authorities say the driver, 35-year-old Thomas Henderson, crashed the vehicle he was driving. Captain Ronald Smith tried to open the driver’s side door and window to let out the billowing smoke, but was unable to because of the damage caused by the crash.

Captain Smith then obtained a fire extinguisher from the Acropolis Diner nearby and tried putting out the fire himself, police said. Other officers arrived soon after, one of them breaking the front passenger side window. Together they were able to remove Henderson from the burning vehicle.

Hamden firefighters then arrived on scene to put out the fire. Henderson suffered multiple injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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