Three Sisters Among Seven Injured after Getting Trapped in Queens House Fire

NY Daily News - September 08, 2017


Three trapped sisters were among seven people injured when a Queens home went up in flames early Friday morning, officials said.

The blaze broke out on the first floor of the two-story home on 147th St. near Rockaway Blvd. in South Jamaica around 3:30 a.m., according to authorities.

Firefighters from nearby Engine Company 155 pulled up to a fire spreading rapidly to the second floor where three women remained stuck inside.

"There was a lot of fire when they arrived," said Battalion Chief Joseph Cunningham. "The crew got here in two minutes and faced fire out of the windows and front door. The girls got in a bedroom and closed the door but they had no way down. The hallways and floor were all burning."

Lt. Brendan Corrigan of Engine Company 155 said he and his crew fought through heavy fire in their rescue effort.

"There was a lot going on; there was fire climbing up and down the hallway," he said. "We heard screaming coming from a middle bedroom. It was difficult to remove them but our guys did a great job."

Medics rushed one victim to Cornell Medical Center in critical condition with extensive burns. Two victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital and two went to Nassau University Medical Center with minor injuries.

Two firefighters involved in the rescue were also treated for minor injuries.

Chief Cunningham said firefighters' quick response may have prevented calamity.

"The recovery time was extremely fast," he said. "There was a lot of fire on arrival and it takes a while to set up the hose lines to put it down. They were very fortunate to make it out."

Lt. Corrigan commended the heroism and readiness of his company.

"It's one of those things that we train for," he said. "We run headfirst into burning buildings and we had a good outcome tonight because of it. We're lucky to get in when we did."