Hillsborough Police Officer Rescues Man from Burning Car

Friday, Sept. 1, 2017
Hillsborough Police Officer Rescues Man from Burning Car
Officer Mike Toellen, pictured with K9 Officer Viper on Riverwalk, rescued a man early Thursday.

A Hillsborough officer rescued a man from a burning car south of Hillsborough while assisting the Orange County Sheriff’s Office early Thursday morning, Aug. 31.

Officer Mike Toellen responded at 1:39 a.m. to a call for assistance at 4607 Old N.C. 86 after a sheriff’s deputy had been flagged down by a citizen regarding a vehicle on fire in the middle of a field.

The Hillsborough officer arrived on the scene and could see smoke and flames in and around the car. He opened three doors of the vehicle and located a man inside, who was lying on the back seat with his head near the right side of the vehicle. Toellen was able to drag the man out to safety. The vehicle became fully engulfed in flames a short time later and was a total loss.

“This is the kind of officer Mike Toellen is,” Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said. “Every day he goes out to help the community, and in this case he was able to save a life in a dangerous situation.”

The overall incident was investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orange Rural Fire Department. Neither the officer nor the citizen was injured.

This is the second lifesaving effort by a Hillsborough officer in recent weeks. On July 30, officers responded to a residence in the Churton Grove neighborhood north of Hillsborough, where a person had overdosed with an unknown narcotic. Officer Jason Dimitri was able to revive the citizen by using naloxone, a drug that counteracts the effects of opioid medication and is now carried by most officers and deputies in Orange County.

Footage of the rescue from the burning car is available on the town’s YouTube channel.