A 28-year-old New York City police officer died off-duty in his own basement after saving seven members of his family from growing floodwaters.
Officer Artur Kasprzak, who died on Monday, had been on the NYPD for six years. According to a CBS New York reportas water started to pour into his Staten Island home, Kasprzak helped move six adults and his 15-month-old nephew into his home's attic. Unknowing the fact that his father had already exited the house; he again went to the basement to look for him and then never returned.
Sometime later, one of his family members called 911 to report him missing. NYPD personnel from the Emergency Service and SCUBA units immediately responded to the residence using Zodiac boats and Jet Skis, but couldn’t get to the home because of electrified power lines in the water.
After the house was deemed safe to enter, a search ensued around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Kasprzak’s body was found unconscious and unresponsive in the basement. EMS on scene pronounced him dead.
"He's always ready. Sometimes he didn't sleep, or he slept just a few hours. Every time they called him, he was there. You know, he's very devoted. We will miss him so much." Family friend Krystina Nawrot called him"a hero to the last minute, to the last second." Kasprzak's sister said in an interview with NPR. Said what???
The NYPD released a statement on Facebookafter Kasprzak’s death.
You can read the entire statement here:
In the midst of Hurricane Sandy's peak hours in New York City, off-duty Police Officer Artur Kasprzak, 28, worked to move loved ones to relative safety inside his home on Staten Island.
As flood water surged into the house, Officer Kasprzak was able to get six adults and a 15-month-old boy into his attic to escape the rapidly rising water. Officer Kasprzak then told one of the women he was going to check the basement, but would be right back.
After he did not return, she called 911 to report Officer Kasprzak missing. NYPD Emergency Service and SCUBA units quickly responded, but could not access the home due to down, electrified power lines in the water. A search commenced as soon as the house was safe to enter.
At approximately 7 a.m. Tuesday, Officer Kasprzak's body was located, unconscious and unresponsive, in the basement. EMTs pronounced him at the scene.
Officer Kasrpzak was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan and served the City of New York for six years as a police officer. Previously, he served the Department for one year as an NYPD Cadet, and had been assigned to the 122 Pct. Detective Squad.
We offer condolences and prayers for Police Officer Kasprzak's family and all those who are suffering losses as a result of the storm, and extended deep appreciation for those working selflessly to help others. They and Artur will never be forgotten.