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Sandy Claims Life Of Off-Duty S.I. Police Officer Who Rescued His Family

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Among the 22 people killed in New York City as a result of superstorm Sandy was an off-duty police officer, who died rescuing his family from flood waters.

Officer Artur Kasprzak, 28, died Monday night in the basement of his home on Doty Avenue on Staten Island.

Around 7 p.m., with flood waters surging in his home, Kasprzak was able to get six members of his family, including two men, ages 69 and 31, along with three women, ages 31, 56 and 68 and a 15-month-old boy  into his attic so they could safely escape rapidly rising water.

Kasprzak then told one of the women he rescued that he was going to check the basement, but would be right back, the NYPD said in a release.

However, some time later -- around 7:23 p.m., one of the women called 911 to report the officer 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.

The Medical Examiner's Office will determine the cause of death.

Officer Kasprzak was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan and had six years on the job. Previously, he served the city for one year as an NYPD Cadet, and was assigned to the 122 Pct. Detective Squad.

Sandy killed 18 people in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The dead included two who drowned in a home and one who was in bed when a tree fell on an apartment. A 23-year-old woman died after stepping into a puddle near a live electrical wire.

"This was a devastating storm, maybe the worst that we have ever experienced," Bloomberg said.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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