Judy Arroyo

A fire broke out on the rear deck of Stephen Pryke’s two-story home on Feb. 19, 2023, in Long Beach, New York. Pryke, 65, was in his bedroom when he was awakened and searched the house for his son and a tenant that lived with them. A passerby flagged down on-duty police officer Judy Arroyo, 51. As she approached the house, flames had completely consumed the rear portion. She entered through the unlocked front door to see flames burning on the kitchen ceiling. She located Pryke, gripped his arm, and forcefully ushered him outside. After hearing that others may be inside the home, Arroyo returned to the house, where flames had overtaken the kitchen. Through black smoke, Arroyo climbed a few stairs toward the second floor when she felt a burst of heat. She suffered burns to her face and both hands. She escaped back through the front door as the fire continued to spread. The son and tenant were later located outside the home. Pryke suffered no burns and declined to go to a hospital. Arroyo was treated at a hospital and later at a burn center. She mostly recovered from her burns in about three weeks.