The fire broke out on the second-floor of a four-story brick apartment building on 45th St. near Eighth Ave. in Sunset Park around 5:15 a.m., critically injuring an unconscious resident.
On their way to the fire, FDNY Captain Christopher Livolsi of Ladder Company 114 received a call notifying him of a potential victim trapped inside a second-floor apartment. Livolsi and his team broke into the apartment and crawled under flames and through clouds of smoke to get access to the victim’s room. Firefighter Brian Gorman found the victim lying unconscious next to a bed and pulled them out of the apartment, staying low to avoid flames.
“In order to get that victim out we had to pass the fire to get to it," Livolsi said. “We had to stay low to get the sleeping areas and at that point is when firefighter Gorman found the unconscious victim and then had to pull that victim low enough past the fire to keep him safe.”
As Gorman pulled the victim through the hallway of the apartment and out the door firefighters had to use fire extinguishers to provide temporary cover from the flames that were beating down on his back.
“There is only a short amount of time that that extinguisher would work so time is crucial,” said Livolsi. "If that fire expanded we ourselves would have been trapped.” The victim was safely extracted and rushed to NYU Langone Hospital - Brooklyn in critical condition.
The victim would have “without a doubt” been killed by the blaze had it not been for the heroic acts of firefighter Gorman, according to Livolsi.
The fire started from food left on the stove and spread to the cabinets and walls, FDNY officials said.
Around 12 units and 60 smoke eaters battled the blaze until it was brought under control just after 6 a.m., authorities said.