Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Residents in Staten Island House Blaze

SI Advance - December 26, 2011

by Eddie DAnna

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Santa Claus isn't the only one making house calls on Christmas.

An off-duty firefighter apparently prevented a holiday tragedy when he sprung into action after he spotted flames shooting from a home on his Dongan Hills block late last night.

The firefighter saw the flames shooting from the windows of 138 Atlantic Ave. at approximately 11:50 last night, and before FDNY units hit the scene, he shoved a ladder to the window of the home and helped several of its inhabitants reach safety, a source at the scene told a news photographer.

FDNY officials this morning confirmed the off-duty firefighter's role in the rescue, but could not provide a name for this holiday hero.

Several were injured in the blaze, but none were initially believed to be life threatening, the source said.

It wasn't immediately clear how the fire began, but the home suffered heavy damage in the blaze.

-- Freelance photographer Steve White contributed to this report.