Dog Killed, Several People Injured in Upper West Side Fire

NY Post - March 02, 2019

by Khristina Narizhnaya and Amanda Woods

A dog was killed and eight people injured when a fire tore through an Upper West Side building early Friday, according FDNY officials and residents.

The fire broke out on the second floor of a five-story building at West 76th Street near West End Avenue at 1:35 a.m., the FDNY said. It reached a second alarm, with 25 units and 106 firefighters and EMS workers responding, a spokesman said.

Seven civilians and one firefighter were taken to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Among the civilians was a couple whose husky didn’t make it out alive, said Dana Steiner, 31, who lives in a first-floor apartment that was “completely destroyed.”

Still, she said, “We’re really lucky. I think everyone in the building was incredibly lucky. Nobody was seriously hurt. It’s really awful about what happened, that they lost their dog.”

Eve Lederman, 27, lives right next door to the apartment where the fire broke out.

“I was sleeping,” Lederman said. “I heard screaming from the hallway. I was like whatever, but then I kept hearing the screaming, I turned on my light just to see what’s going on, and there was just water everywhere, black smoke.”

“I couldn’t see, so I just closed my door, I called 911,” she added. “I just waited, I had my head out the window. Two people in the other apartment building saw me and one of them had gone out into the street to call for help. Eventually the firefighters came, you couldn’t see anything.”

“I thought I was gonna have to jump out the window. Everything was black. It happened so quickly, it’s not even real.”

William Joyce, 60, a lawyer who lives at the building next door, said he immediately ran outside when he smelled smoke.

“Everyone was leaving the building,” Joyce said. “As soon as we stepped outside we saw this inferno bellowing out of that window. It was like a movie. One person didn’t have shoes on….We were outside for an hour and a half, we were told we’re not allowed back in.”

“At 3 o’clock they said we [could] re-enter our building, but the other building, they couldn’t re-enter,” he added. “They all had to get the Red Cross or family to help them. The police and the firemen were fantastic, and these buildings that gave the doormen, they got out water and snacks, let people use bathrooms. It was very neighborly.”

The fire was under control around 2:45 a.m. and its cause remains under investigation.