Injured officer rescued moments before cruiser explodes in North Philadelphia

A seriously injured Philadelphia police officer who was pulled from his wrecked cruiser moments before it burst into flames is expected to fully recover.

Officer Matthew Smyth had heard some gunshots while on patrol Thursday afternoon in North Philadelphia. Smyth was trying to get to the site where he thought the shots were coming from when the crash occurred on the 2400 block of North 12th Street.

Other officers soon arrived to aid the 31-year-old, who had suffered cervical spine and hip fractures and was stuck in the vehicle.

The cruiser caught fire a short time later and soon exploded. But the other officers were able to free Smyth, and no other injuries were reported.

Family members say the nine-year veteran remains hospitalized but is not dealing with paralysis.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.