NY Post - December 31, 2008by KYLE MURPHY, MURRAY WEISS and ANDY GELLER
A plucky Brooklyn firefighter miraculously escaped death yesterday, plunging 30 feet after a porch collapsed as he battled a blaze at a three-story building, authorities said. Andrew Shierer, of Ladder 148, injured his shoulder in the frightening fall, cheating death by staying on top of the pile of rubble as it fell two stories.
"He rode the third floor down to the first floor," a paramedic said of Shierer, whose father was emergency management chief under Rudy Giuliani.
Another firefighter said, "He didn't get hurt because he slid down the pile of rubble and rolled almost into the basement.
"Two stories of bricks went down with him. "I'm shocked he's OK."
Joseph Giancola, 61, who witnessed the collapse, agreed.
"I thought the guy would be dead, to be honest with you," he said. "You had to hear it come down."
The three-alarm blaze at 222 Kings Highway in Bensonhurst was almost extinguished and Shierer, 26, was checking for pockets of flame in the rear third-floor porch when it, and part of the rear wall, collapsed.
A mayday call sounded and many of the more than 100 firefighters battling the blaze rushed into the building to carry their fallen comrade to safety.
Shierer, who has been on the force for 3 1/2 years, was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Twelve other firefighters suffered injuries such as smoke inhalation; 10 civilians received medical aid at the scene.
Shierer is the son of Richard Shierer, a fire dispatcher who rose to head the Office of Emergency Management in the Giuliani administration. The elder Shierer joined the ex-mayor's firm, Giuliani Partners, after Mayor Bloomberg took office in January 2002.
The blaze broke out at 10:50 a.m. in the three-story structure, which houses Collector's Fantasy, a store that sells comic books and baseball cards on the first floor. The upper two floors are residential.
The cause was still under investigation.
Firefighters said it began either in the basement or on the first floor.
Everyone got out of the building safely.