Thanksgiving Infernos Leave 2 Homes Badly Damaged, Send 5 to Hospital

SILive - November 24, 2018

by Albert Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Separate fires that erupted in Grymes Hill and Tottenville on Thanksgiving badly damaged two homes and sent a total of four firefighters and one seriously-injured civilian to area hospitals.

A raging fire at a home at 154 Hillside Ave. on Grymes Hill broke out at approximately 5:20 p.m., according to the FDNY on Twitter.

One-hundred-and-six firefighters and 25 units were summoned to battle the two-alarm blaze, which residents feared would spread to other homes on the block.

A civilian suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A firefighter also suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze.

“I’ll tell you we thanked the firemen, there had to be 10 engines on the street, the last engine left at 11 o’clock last night...and they saved my house and [another neighbor’s] house,” said Dee Manning, who’s a resident one door down.

“The flames were at least 30-feet out of top of the house.”

Manning said that while she was coming home, she could see the smoke rise in the background and a neighbor called the FDNY.

According to Manning, an older man who lived in the home was injured.

“You wouldn’t believe the fire, there were fire trucks parked on Van Duzer Street, the ambulance responders had to push up the hill with a stretcher for the man,” she said.

“We gave him a blanket, he didn’t want to go but he was burned on his legs badly, and he went to the hospital.”

The blaze was brought under control around 6:20 p.m., according to an FDNY Twitter post. Manning applauded the firefighters for keeping the flames at bay and said she was very lucky that her home didn’t catch fire.

The blaze was brought under control around 6:20 p.m., according to an FDNY Twitter post. Manning applauded the firefighters for keeping the flames at bay and said she was very lucky that her home didn’t catch fire.

Tottenville Fire
Early Thursday morning, more than 12 hours before the Hillside Avenue fire, the FDNY responded to a three-alarm blaze at a home at 21 Sprague Ave. in Tottenville.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m., and the FDNY announced on Twitter that it was under control 3:25 a.m. The rear of the home suffered extensive burn damage.

One-hundred-thirty-eight firefighters and 33 units were needed to contain the blaze.

Three firefighters went to Staten Island University Hospital on Prince's Bay with minor injuries, an FDNY spokesman said.

On Friday morning, the Sprague Avenue home had its windows boarded up.

An area resident said the home had been under construction recently, and a Red Cross spokesman said the home was vacant at the time of the fire and no one was in need of temporary shelter.

A family member working at the site said the home’s owners were OK, but declined further comment.

The cause of both fires remains under investigation, the FDNY said.