A quick response by police, fire, dispatch and rescue crews in Vineland Sunday morning saved the lives of two residents and stopped a blazing house fire from spreading, according to Mayor  Anthony Fanucci.

In a Facebook post from the city of Vineland on Monday, the mayor applauded emergency service personnel who responded to a house fire in the city.

Members of all six Vineland Fire Companies were assisted on scene by the Rosenhayn Fire & Rescue and the Millville Fire Department. As a result, the fire was contained to the single structure.

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The quick actions of three Vineland Police officers, who were first on the scene, almost certainly saved lives. At about 8am Sunday, dispatch directed police to a house fire at 85 East Sherman Avenue. When police arrived at the home, they had to act fast.

"...two residents were trapped on the second-floor back porch as the residence was engulfed in flames. Officers first tried to park their vehicle near a window in order for the residents to jump down on to the roof, however debris around the house made that impossible. The couple then alerted the officers to the possible location of a ladder near the house which was found buried in the snow and tangled with vines. After freeing the ladder, one of the officers climbed the six-foot A-frame, which was still three feet short, and managed to help the residents climb down. Both were uninjured except for some minor singeing from the heat."

Vineland City Public Safety Director Edwin Alicea filled in the details on the rescue.

“When the call came in, dispatcher Kristina Montana acted quickly to direct assets to the location. When officers Daniel Miller, Matthew Bonsall, and Ryan Madden arrived, they assessed the situation, exhibited excellent situational awareness, and began providing assistance without concern for their own safety. As a result of this response and the officers’ actions, two lives were likely saved. All involved have been recommended for a commendation for their extraordinary service.”

Mayor Fanucci thanked everyone who assisted with Sunday's fire and reminded residents to always have working smoke alarms and a safety plan for when fire strikes.

“All those who wear a public service uniform and assist others in need are a ‘shining beacon’ to the community.I know they may not think of themselves as heroes, but they are, and it’s important that we recognize their efforts. We can never say enough about how much we appreciate what they do to keep us safe.”

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