FDNY Crews Rescue Two People From Blaze In Brooklyn Building

NY 1 - December 28, 2005

by fire crews who pulled off a dramatic double rescue.

NY1’s Cindi Avila filed this report.

It took Ladder 120 just three minutes to get to the scene of a fire on Chester Street in Brownsville. That quick response time may have saved lives.

When firefighters arrived at the front door they quickly realized there were people inside the apartment.

"Doors can be locked when they go to work, but when there's a chain on you know you have victims,” said Lt. Vic Spadaro of Ladder 120.

Fire crews knocked the chain off, got inside the home and then found out just how bad things were.

"When we went in through the front door there was fire to the left, and I mean zero visibility,” said Firefighter John Drew. “You couldn't see anything."

Despite the dire conditions, Drew was able to locate an elderly woman, unconscious in her bedroom.

"I found a woman laying on the floor and I dragged her out to the hallway," said the firefighter.

A man was found in the second bedroom. Firefighters say he was conscious, but barely. He was also wheelchair bound, making efforts to get him out a little more difficult.

"The guy couldn't be dragged I guess because of his legs, so I put him on my shoulder and walked him out the hallway and down the stairs," said Spadaro.

A church pastor says he was just walking on Chester Street when he realized his friend's apartment was on fire.

"I just seen her the other day, and I hope and pray that God blesses her family because she's a Christian lady and she's very active in the church," said Pastor Usher.

Firefighters say the fire was put out within minutes, but that the apartment is a total loss.