Jan 13, 2016 4:51 PM

UPDATE: Police say Salem man saved from burning car overdosed on heroin behind the wheel


SALEM - A Salem man is recovering in the hospital after he overdosed on heroin and passed out inside a car that later caught fire, police said.

"The victim had recently injected heroin inside the residence and gone out to his vehicle to leave for work," said Captain Joel Dolan.

Firefighters responded to a 911 call, arriving to Crescent Street at 7:37 a.m. The 2004 BMW was fully engulfed in flames, police said.

After taming the blaze firefighters checked to see if anyone was inside the vehicle and they spotted the man slumped over, unresponsive.

A charred 2004 BMW remains parked in the Salem driveway where rescuers saved a man who had overdosed at the wheel.

The man, whose name has not been released, was pulled to safety, revived with Narcan and sent to the hospital. In the meantime, firefighters contained the fire, stopping it from spreading to a garage.

First responders said car fires are common calls, as are overdoses, but the two together is unusual.

"I've responded to a lot of car fires and this is the first time that we've had someone trapped in that type of circumstance," said Fire Captain Randall Young.

The man had passed out with his foot on the gas pedal, which caused an engine fire. He's being treated at a Boston hospital for burns to his lungs and carbon monoxide poisoning. He is expected to survive.

"The scary part is they're injecting heroin while they're driving, they're injecting heroin before they're driving, they're injecting heroin going to work," said Dolan.

In the past four days there's been an uptick in overdoses, Young said. On Monday, a woman was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose at a local motel.

READ: Salem Police make drug bust, respond to heroin overdose in separate incidents

Salem had 125 overdoses in 2015, 12 were fatal, Dolan said.

Colleen can be found on Twitter @ColleenNH1


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