Staten Island Family Rescued From Burning Home With Disconnected Smoke Alarms

NY Daily News - December 31, 2010

by Sarah Armaghan AND Rocco Parascandola

Five members of a Staten Island family were rescued from their burning home early Friday where firefighters later found disconnected smoke detectors, FDNY officials said.

The oldest victim, a 68-year-old grandmother, appeared to be unconscious when firefighters got to her, but they used oxygen tanks to get her breathing again.

She is in serious condition at Staten Island University Hospital.

The other residents -- her son-in-law, 45, daughter, 44, and granddaughters, 12 and 8 -- were ushered to safety and taken with minor injuries to the same hospital.

The fire started about 3:45 in a room above a garage at 150 Steuben St., a two-family home in Concord.

Dale Foster, a 27-year-old tenant in the basement apartment, escaped after he heard firefighters banging on his door.

"The firefighters came and started breaking the windows," Foster said "I saw them take out two little girls, my landlord, and someone on a stretcher and a dog."

"(The grandmother) kept pointing to the house telling them more people were inside," he added.

Firefighter Tony Cavalieri said rescuing the grandmother was gratifying.

"It's a good feeling," he said. "When we got her right in front in the street she took a big gasp of air.... It was a good sign."