Press Releases

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2009

Firefighters Save Residents of Brooklyn
Building From a Near Certain Death

Brooklyn, NY - Firefighters from Engine Company 271, which is scheduled to be closed permanently on July 1 and currently one of the companies on the night closures list as part of the city's budget cuts were part of a dramatic rescue of people trapped inside a burning building Tuesday morning.

Residents at 376 Palmetto Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn were blocked from reaching the fire escape by heavy smoke and flames. Firefighters arriving on the scene first had to rip child proof window guards blocking the windows before beginning rescue efforts. Firefighters from Engine 271 and Ladder 124 went into the burning house and guided residents to safety.

"This fire could have easily resulted in numerous fatalities," said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "Today's fire was the second significant one in Engine 271's coverage area in less than a week. Last week three buildings were lost on a night that E-271 was closed by Commissioner Scoppetta and the Mayor for the night. It is unsafe for the bean counters at City Hall to be playing God with people's lives and safety."

"You could feel the heat when it first started," said resident Chetkiela Jenkins. "You could hear the windows breaking and everything."

"I commend the firemen," resident Elaine Hamilton said. "We just kept saying to ourselves, we didn't how they kept going in there. And they were on the roof and I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it."

All of the residents were evacuated safely and nine firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Depending on manpower needs, Engine Company 271 is sometimes closed at night and is scheduled to be closed permanently on July 1 as part of Mayor Bloomberg's budget cuts.