May 25, 2018
On Friday, May 11th, 2018, FDNY members rescued three people at two separate early morning fires in Queens. Both fires had non-operational smoke detectors.
Shortly after midnight, FDNY received the call for report of fire on the second floor of a private dwelling in Jackson Heights, Queens. Engine Company 307 (E-307) and Ladder Company 154 (L-154) were on scene within minutes and began fire operations under heavy fire and smoke conditions. A report of trapped patients was provided to units on scene.
“We made our way in, it was a very panicky scene, we went up the stairs, I went to the left and Firefighter Rodriguez went to the right and we found the pediatric patients in the rear,” said Lieutenant Kevin O’Hare of L-154. “There was heavy fire, rolling out the door, with lots of smoke.”
“Soon as I got to the apartment, there was heavy fire rolling out, I heard screaming from the back bedroom, so I continued past the fire and I made contact with the father of the two pediatric patients and safely removed him, from there, once the smoke started to lift, and with a team effort, we went in and found the two pediatric patients,” said Firefighter Akira Rodriguez of (L-154). “It is heartbreaking to pick up a child, but again we focus on the mission of saving lives.”
Rescue Company 4 (R-4) arrived as Firefighter Rodriguez transmitted the code for serious injury. Lieutenant Todd Smith of R-4 and Firefighter Rodriguez coordinated to rescue the young children.
“I made my way to the apartment as Firefighter Rodriguez was making his way out with the patient, I continued the search of that room and found an unresponsive young person,” said Lt. Smith. “I was able to carry them. Both were in respiratory distress, not breathing on their own so we immediately began our interventions. We did our best. When we passed them to EMS, they were breathing on their own.”
Several hours later, E-307 and L-154 responded to a second incident, a 2-alarm fire at a residential building in Elmhurst, Queens.
“At this 2-alarm fire in Elmhurst, there was a very heavy fire condition, you are dealing with structural instability at that point, there were a lot of people living in the building,” said Lt. O’Hare. “I was on the second floor when the stair collapse happened, it could have been worse but thankfully none of our members suffered critical injuries.”
After the stairway collapse, Lt. O’Hare discovered and rescued a patient using bedsheets as protection from the fire.
“Our first due units did a fantastic job of knocking down the fire, we had a serious stairway collapse as we were moving up to the attic. There were several Firefighters removed,” said Division 14 Chief Mark Ferran. “We want to praise EMS for tending to our patients – civilians and our own members.”
“Overall, you are seeing a very coordinated operation done by our Firefighters who do the rescue and recovery of people who quickly deliver the patients to EMS, who give the life-saving care right on scene,” said Queens Borough Commander Edward Baggott. “This is the reason why people are alive in the city today – it is because of Firefighters and EMS, we have three people alive in the borough of Queens. I encourage all residents in this city to check your smoke detector today; we can prevent these fires and injuries.”
As per FDNY Fire Marshals, an unattended candle was the cause of the fire in Jackson Heights, Queens.
The 2-alarm fire in Elmhurst, Queens remains under investigation.