Several Injured in East Harlem High-Rise Fire

NY Post - April 30, 2018

by Tea Kvetenadze and Stephanie Pagones

Two of the three people who were critically injured in a Sunday morning fire in East Harlem were children under 7 years old, an FDNY official said.

Twelve people were injured in the blaze, which started just after 6:30 a.m. on the 29th floor of a 35-story building, The Heritage, at 1295 Fifth Avenue, an FDNY spokeswoman said.

The critically injured victims include a 1-year-old girl who suffered respiratory distress and 6-year-old girl who was rushed off after suffering cardiac arrest, FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Gala told reporters.

“Two were removed from the building in cardiac arrest, that would be one adult and one child,” Gala said at a press conference at the scene. “We have a second child in respiratory arrest.”

EMS rushed 12 people to area hospitals — including the three people in critical condition, with life-threatening injuries, and three others in serious condition, an FDNY spokeswoman said. Six others suffered minor injuries and one person was treated at the scene, but refused further medical attention.

“Being met in the hallway with heavy heat and heavy smoke conditions is a challenge,” Gala said. “Clearly, zero visibility is a challenge for our members, they’re operating in the dark. A lot of it is by sense of heat, making your way to the room. And your sense of feel, which is how we recovered our victims.”

Six victims were from the apartment where the fire started, with the rest being rescued from adjoining apartments. One firefighter also suffered a minor injury, Gala said.

The fire was under control in just under an hour, Gala said. FDNY Fire Marshals will determine the cause of the fire, which does not appear to be suspicious.