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Butte Police Officer lauded after rescuing woman from burning vehicle

Butte Fire Captain Jerod Gonzalez (left) and Butte Police Officer Chris Tierney (right) approach the burning vehicle. This photo is a still shot from Offficer Nick Butorovich’s body camera from the area where he and Officer Michelle Knopp were treating the accident victim.
Posted at 2:51 PM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 11:46:32-04

BUTTE — A Butte Police Officer was injured while rescuing a woman from a burning car last week. Butte Police Officer Nick Butorovich is recovering from burns he received during the incident but was awarded a departmental commendation for his efforts on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

According to a press release from Sheriff Ed Lester, on the night of September 15th at 11:47 P.M., Butte Emergency dispatch received a call that a vehicle had rolled at the intersection of Dewey Blvd. and Kennedy Ave. The caller stated that the vehicle was on its top and was burning. The caller was not sure if anyone was still inside the vehicle.

Butte Police, Butte Fire Rescue, and A-1 Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

Officer Butorovich was on patrol in the area. Butorovich arrived at the scene at approximately 11:49 P.M. Butorovich quickly approached the vehicle, which was on fire. He located the driver of the vehicle, who was unconscious. The woman was still in the vehicle but hanging upside down by her seat belt in the burning vehicle.

Butorovich entered the vehicle and cut the seat belt to free the victim. He was able to drag the woman out of the car and drag her away from the vehicle as it was consumed by flames.

Shortly thereafter, Butorovich was joined at the scene by other officers, fire, and medical personnel.

The victim sustained some small first and second-degree burns. A complete recovery is expected.

During the rescue, Officer Butorovich sustained second-degree burns to his right hand. Officer Butorovich will be on light duty until his burns are healed.

Without the quick and decisive actions by Officer Butorovich, the female victim would have died in the vehicle as it burned.

Officer Butorovich has been issued a departmental commendation for placing himself in harm’s way to save the life of the female accident victim.

“This is an outstanding example of a patrol officer doing his job and being in the right place at the right time,” said Sheriff Ed Lester. “If Nick arrived 30 seconds later or hesitated because of the danger, this woman would not have survived.”

NOTE-See the attached still shot from Officer Butorovich’s body camera.