Police officers Annette Lancaster and Eddie Wong were out on patrol about 6:25 p.m. when they encountered the burning wreckage near Avenue T and McDonald Avenue and saw that two of the three passengers were unable to escape as the SUV filled with smoke, police said.
The doors of the vehicle were so badly mangled that the officers couldn't opene them so they instead smashed the glass with their batons to provide some ventilation as the flames crept closer to the passengers, police said.
Some good samaritans nearby helped the officers pry open the driver's side door and free the 27-year-old man behind the wheel, police said.
They then struggled to free the 55-year-old woman on the passenger's side as the flames intensified, until someone handed the cops a fire extinguisher, police said.
The woman was then pulled to safety through the shattered window, cops said.
The three passengers were taken to Lutheran Hospital where they were treated for minor injuries, police said.
Both officers were taken to Maimonides Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation, cops said. Lancaster had also cut her hand and Wong strained his shoulder, police said.