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Hackettstown police officer featured in Hearts of Heroes episode

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – A Hackettstown police officer was recently featured in a TV program about the rescue of an elderly woman from a house fire.

The ABC Network recently featured Hackettstown police officer Ryan Blankenship in an episode of Hearts of Heroes.

The program, which aired in February, described how Blankenship rescued an elderly woman trapped in a house fire in June 2023 in Independence Township.

Officer Blankenship, on June 24, at around 2:27 a.m., responded to assist Independence Township Police Department at a residence on Thomas Drive for a reported structure fire with entrapment, police said.

Upon arrival, the officer observed heavy smoke conditions and active fire on one side of the residence, police said.

A 61-year-old female resident was already assisted out of the residence by Independence Township Police Officer Rafael Ortiz and her 91-year-old mother was still inside the home, police said.

The mother was located inside a bedroom and Officer Blankenship went through the bedroom window and as seen on his body-worn camera, he lifted her off the bed and handed her out the window to Independence Township Fire Department Chief Clyde Snyder and Independence Township Police Sgt. Scott Stocker and Officer Ortiz, police said.

She was then then turned over to the Independence First Aid and Rescue Squad, police said.

Blankenship also received the New Jersey State PBA Lifesaving Award, during the NJ State PBA Valor Awards Ceremony on Nov. 18 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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