Hero FDNY Captain Rescues Badly-Burned Grandpa from Burning Queens Building

NY Daily News - December 11, 2011

by Ben Chapman, Joe Kemp & Larry Mcshane NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Three others escape unscathed

A woman and child are rushed to an ambulance from scene of fire in Flushing Saturday morning.

A badly-burned Queens grandfather was pulled from his smoke-choked bedroom early Saturday after his desperate son screamed at firefighters to rescue the trapped man.

"My father! My father!" howled Patrick Bryan, 32, as the FDNY reached his burning Flushing apartment at 2:12 a.m.

Bryan, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter escaped from the two-story apartment building -- but 64-year-old Patrick James Rohan was lying unconscious in a rear bedroom.

"We knew somebody was in there," said FDNY Capt. Thomas Ray, who was working an overtime shift. "When we got to the corner, there was somebody waving us down. A group of people were frantically yelling."

Ray, working with Engine 315, went into the building with firefighters from Ladder 215 -- only to find the apartment's metal front door locked.

Firefighters smashed their way inside, with Ray heading down a smoke-filled hallway as his colleagues poured water on the kitchen fire.

"When I got in the bedroom, I found the body," said Ray, 51, a 26-year fire veteran. "I started to move him."

With the help of his fellow smoke-eaters, Ray brought Rohan to safety. The older man was in serious condition at New York Hospital Queens with burns on both arms.

His daughter-in-law was treated at the same facility, while his granddaughter was taken to Cornell Medical Center. Patrick Bryan was treated at the scene.

"I saw them take someone out on a stretcher," said neighbor Rose Abramova, who watched the rescue from her kitchen window. "I got scared. It's very sad."