14 Injured after Fire Spreads Through Wash Heights Building: FDNY

The Patch - September 30, 2020

by Gus Saltonstall, Patch Staff

A fire broke out early Tuesday morning in Washington Heights, leaving five residents with serious injuries, the FDNY said.

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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — A massive fire seriously injured five Washington Heights residents early Tuesday morning, according to the FDNY.

One of the people seriously injured in the fire suffered life-threatening injuries and the four others had non-life-threatening injuries, according to the FDNY.

The fire, which broke out on the fifth floor of a Washington Heights building, also injured nine other residents, the FDNY said.

The residents were on the fifth floor of the apartment building at 545 W. 158th Street when the fire broke out around 4:30 a.m.

Firefighters saved multiple people from the blaze using a rope rescue from the roof, an FDNY spokesperson said.

"When we looked over the side of the building we saw a little girl's hands on the window guards and her Grandmother was holding her up to try to get her out just so she could breathe," responding firefighter Abraham Miller of Ladder 23 wrote in an email to Patch. "Firefighter Sosa, already had the life-saving rope out. We've worked together before so we jumped into action and everything just happened so quick.

"I went over and he lowered me down to the window. I was able to punch through the window and grab the child out of the window," Miller added. "FF Sosa lowered me to the ground. It was tough but we did what we had to do, we didn't think twice about it. We practice this drill every Monday, but this was my first roof-rope rescue. This is a team effort."

The FDNY is still investigating the cause of the fire.