Three People Rescued in Brooklyn Blaze at a Home that Was 'Full Of Clutter': FDNY

AM New York - July 23, 2020

by Todd Maisel

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Three people were rescued from what fire officials say was a ‘heavily cluttered’ Brooklyn apartment this morning, fire officials said.

Fire officials hailed the quick thinking of firefighters from Rescue 2 and Lieutenant Craig Hill, a 20-year veteran of FDNY and his crew from Ladder 123, all of whom contributed to rescuing the two women and one man from the heavily cluttered apartment filled with smoke.

Rescue 2 firefighters smashed a hole into the fire apartment after others trying to force the door open after firefighters discovered that the victims and two electric moped bikes blocking their access. One of the victims was pulled through that hole by Rescue 2 firefighters, officials said.

The fire broke out shortly before 7 a.m. at 1225 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. Arriving firefighters found heavy fire coming from windows of the four-story dwelling apartment building.

Ladder company 123 led by Lieutenant Hill immediately tried to make entry to the apartment, but found that the door could not be opened because two unconscious people and two electric bikes were blocking the door closed. Rescue 2 firefighters began smashing a wall next to the door from the adjoining apartment in a desperate attempt to save the occupants who only minutes earlier could be heard banging and screaming desperately to escape.

Firefighters dragged one of the victims through the hole while Ladder 123, backed by the hoses of Engine 234 made entry to the apartment where Hill, Firefighters Manuel Zuaznabar and Calvin Turner apparently found the two other victims and pulled them out to EMS.

EMS crews began CPR on the injured residents as firefighters fought back the flames in what fire officials called a “Colliers Mansion” type apartment, filled with boxes and debris.

Two of the victims were rushed to Kings County Hospital in critical condition with smoke inhalation and burns. A third victim was taken to Cornell Burn Unit for burns and smoke inhalation in critical condition.

Fire officials say 60 firefighters and 12 units fought the flames and brought it under control before 8 a.m.

“The firefighters were running with one of the victims down the block,” said Pierre St. Louis of Crown Heights who witnessed the incident. “The person was lifeless. It was like something out of a movie. I know that apartment had a lot of clutter.”

One firefighter suffered minor injuries in the fire, but was not considered serious.

It was unclear at this time what started the fire and fire marshals were investigating.