Man rebuffs then accepts officer's rescue attempt during fire

Authorities say a Sussex County police officer rushed to help a homeowner whose house was on fire Tuesday, but the homeowner slammed the door in his face before he was rescued.



Sparta police told NJ.com that Cpl. Frank Schomp rushed to let the homeowner know that his house was partially engulfed in flames. Sgt. Dennis Proctor says Schomp knocked on the man's door to tell him, but the man didn't believe him.



Schomp then went inside and led the man to safety.



Two of the man's dogs died in the blaze, and he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.



Proctor says the fire appears to have been accidentally caused by discarded embers from a wood burning stove.



Tuesday's bitter cold temperatures made combating the blaze difficult for firefighters. Crews were forced to break up ice on Lake Mohawk in order to get access to water to put out the flames.



The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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