Off-Duty Brooklyn Firefighter Loses Home in Five-Alarm Blaze

NY Post - September 14, 2020

by C.J. Sullivan and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

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An off-duty city Brooklyn firefighter sprang into action late Saturday to rescue his family and neighbors from a five-alarm blaze razed three Dyker Heights homes — but lost his own house in the process.

Firefighter Piotr Orlowski, assigned to Engine 202 in Red Hook, rushed into action when the fire broke out shortly before midnight at the family home on 74th Street, the FDNY union said on Twitter Sunday.

Orlowski, 33, a firefighter since 2016, had lived in the home with his Polish-immigrant parents and his sister for 20 years, according to a friend.

He even got the family dog, Crash, out safely before turning his attention to neighbors.

“He got them out of their own apartment and then he even helped next door,” said Patricia Ciurej, whose sister has dated Orlowski for 10 years. “He ran into the first floor back apartment where there’s a man. He’s like 90 years old. He literally carried him out himself, without gear or nothing.”

Neighbors said they saw the fire start from across the street and ran to alert the homeowners at 1330 74th St., breaking into the home when they didn’t answer the doorbell, they told The Post.

The family simply didn’t hear the doorbell but everyone was removed safely.

They then ran to Orlowski’s house and woke the firefighter’s family, neighbors said.

Both homes and a third neighboring house were all gutted by the flames.

Ciurej, 28, who is sponsoring a GoFundMe page for the family, said Orlowski is severely distraught but grateful everyone is safe.

“He does this for a living,” Ciurej said. “He’s been a firefighter for five years. It’s always tough seeing someone suffer through losing stuff.”

“But when you’re going into your own home and everything’s ablaze or everything is just destroyed you’re at a loss for words,” she said. “The couch that you sat on, the bed that you slept in. It may be materialistic, but those are the things that make a home.”

The fundraiser had collected more than $18,000 by 4 p.m. on Sunday, with a goal of $30,000.

The United Firefighters Association said six smoke eaters were injured while battling the fire. City Councilman Justin Brannan said on Twitter that windy conditions helped spread the flames.

Investigators: 5-alarm Fire in Dyker Heights Leave Several Firefighters Injured News 12 Brooklyn

Several firefighters were injured during a five-alarm fire that left a dozen people displaced overnight in Dyker Heights, investigators say. The fire started Saturday right before midnight at a home on 1330 74th St. News 12 is told the fire spread rapidly, and went from a two-alarm fire to a five-alarm fire in just minutes.

More than 200 firefighters were on the scene to eventually extinguish the fire before 4 a.m.

The fire also spread to another home.

Officials tell News 12 there were 12 occupants in both buildings, all of whom have been accounted for.

News 12 is told six firefighters sustained multiple injuries and were taken to area hospitals.

The fire left windows knocked out of their frames, took the roof off of one of the homes and left the side of a home defaced. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. The Department of Buildings is probing the structure to see how it contributed to the spread of the fire.