Multiple Injuries Reported at House Fire on Staten Island
At least 20 firefighters were injured, with three in a serious condition, during a house fire on Friday, February 17, on Staten Island, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) said.
During a press conference, local authorities said a call came in for a fire at a duplex on Shotwell Avenue at around 1:30 pm.
Chief of Department John Hodgens said the fire sparked between two buildings in the rear of the property and quickly spread to both. “There was a heavy wind condition at the fire, so as the firefighters were inside searching for occupants the windows failed and the wind blew the fire intensely right at the firefighters,” he said.
Two FDNY members became trapped by the flames. One was able to jump off a second floor balcony, while the other transmitted a mayday signal.
Another team of arrived on scene and were able to rescue the member trapped by the fire. A nozzleman working to put out the flames was struck by falling plaster, knocking his mask off his face, and causing him to inhale a large amount of smoke.
FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said the three firefighters were in critical but stable condition.
“I cannot emphasize enough that this was a very close call for the FDNY,” Kavanagh said.
“We could have lost three members today. But it was thanks to the brave work of our members, including those who went in and saved their fellow firefighters, rescued the trapped members, brought them to EMS on scene who treated them immediately, and brought them to this hospital, who treated them right away.”
Kavanagh said the three firefighters were alert, talking and making jokes. At least 17 other firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Credit: FDNY via Storyful