Tag Archives: FDNY

Video: Teens rescued after becoming stranded on ice in Little Neck Bay


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video YouTube/courtesy of Mary Marino

A venture onto a frozen Douglaston bay turned dangerous on Valentine’s Day when two teenagers got stuck on the cracking ice and had to be rescued by the fire department.

Ladder Company 164 and Engine Company 313 responded to the stranded pair around 5 p.m. Saturday, when they found them near Bay and 223rd streets about 300 to 400 feet from the Little Neck Bay shoreline, fire officials said.

When they arrived, FDNY members witnessed one of the teens, believed to be a boy, fall into the icy water and be pulled out by the other person.

Mary Marino, who lives right on the bay, saw the emergency vehicles and ran out to see what was happening.

“The water started rising up and the ice started cracking,” she said.

Marino then grabbed her phone and filmed the speedy rescue.


The teens, a boy and a girl, managed to make it closer to the shore, but were still stuck on the weakening ice, she said. The video shows the first responders placing a ladder across the ice so the two could crawl across it to shore, while some rescuers were in the water in insulated suits to hold the ladder steady.

“They did an excellent job — it was fast,” Marino, said, adding that the entire rescue took about 10 to 15 minutes.

One of the teenagers was taken to Long Island Jewish Medical Center for treatment due to exposure to the water.

Marino, who has lived near the bay for 40 years, said it’s very rare for someone to get stuck on the ice, but decided to post her video of the rescue online to make sure no one else gets stranded on the body of water again.

“You can’t walk on this ice because it’s dangerous,” Marino said.

“They didn’t realize the tide gets high,” she added.

Earlier this month, the FDNY and Parks Department held a press conference on the dangers of walking on frozen waters in city parks.

“This winter we have seen incidents in Central Park, in the Bronx and [on Saturday] in Queens where, if not for the quick response and brave work of FDNY members in frigid, icy waters, New Yorkers may have lost their lives,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro in a statement. “Venturing onto the ice of New York City’s rivers and waterways is dangerous. I urge all New Yorkers to stay off the ice for their safety, and for the safety of all FDNY members who respond to these emergencies.”

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Fire truck and car collision in Briarwood leaves five injured


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A collision between a fire truck and car in Briarwood on Thursday night left five people, including two firefighters, hurt, the FDNY said.

The two vehicles crashed into each other at Hillside Avenue and Queens Boulevard about 6:30 p.m.

Three people were taken to Jamaica Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, fire officials said.

Two firefighters, who suffered minor injuries, were transported to Queens Hospital Center.

The cause of the crash is reportedly under investigation.

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As Queens grows, so does the number of building fires in 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Riyad Hasan

The number of structural fires in Queens surged last year by 7.7 percent, well above the average increase for the entire city, as firefighters responded to reports of 5,170 burning buildings in the borough in 2014, new statistics compiled by the Uniformed Firefighters Association show.

Citywide, structural fires increased 5.7 percent for a total of 25,097 buildings set ablaze.

Overall, 2014 was the busiest year on record for the FDNY since it began keeping records 150 years ago, the report found.

The sharper rise in fires in Queens was likely due to the faster pace of new development in the borough, said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

“Queens has been growing in leaps and bounds. And the more people you have, the more likely you will need us,” Cassidy said. “The borough is growing faster than any other borough.”

With the fast pace of new development in Queens, Cassidy said he believes the FDNY needs to provide more firefighting resources to the borough. “We’ll see how the department responds to that,” he said.

Non-structural fires — cars, brush and rubbish — were up 6.48 percent, with 15,512 calls to firefighters for these types of fires in 2014, compared with the prior year.

Overall, the single largest increase in responses by firefighters was for emergencies involving gas, water and steam leaks; elevator rescues; carbon monoxide and fire alarms; and scaffolding and building collapses. Those calls increased 13.85 percent in Queens for a total of 42,630 last year.

“Today, New York City firefighters are trained to deal with a wide range of emergencies. Going back decades, it was fires, fires, fires. And now we’re dealing with so many more things than just structural fires,” Cassidy said. “Firefighters are ready to deal with emergencies that are either man-made or natural.”

Queens FDNY emergency responses during 2013 and 2014:

Structural fires up 7.71 percent
2013: 4,800 vs. 2014: 5,170

Non-structural fires up 5.83 percent
2013: 3,363 vs. 2014: 3,559

Emergencies up 13.85 percent
2013: 37,443 vs. 2014: 42,630

Medical emergencies up 3.9 percent
2013: 44,436 vs. 2014: 46,169

False alarms up 6.57 percent
2013: 4,204 vs. 2014: 4,480

Total calls up 8.24 percent

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Bay Terrace blaze during snowstorm caused by unattended candle: FDNY


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video via Vine/FDNY

A burning candle left unattended in a Bay Terrace home during Monday’s snowstorm sparked a fire that ripped through the second floor of the building, fire officials said.

Video footage posted by the FDNY shows the flames shooting from the second floor and roof of 15-62 Waters Edge Dr.


The fire started about 8:30 p.m. Monday at the private residence amid a blizzard warning and as snow was falling. Windy conditions made it more difficult for firefighters to battle the two-alarm blaze, according to police. It took 105 firefighters until about 10:15 p.m. to control the flames.

No injuries were reported.

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Online fundraisers set up to help Astoria roommates after fire destroys home


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Duncan Pflaster

In less than half an hour Andrew Rothkin, Kim Jones and Duncan Pflaster lost the place they have called home for more than five years after a fire ripped through their Astoria apartment early Wednesday afternoon.

Pflaster, an administrative assistant and also a playwright and photographer, said he received a call from Jones at around 1 p.m. Wednesday telling him he needed to come home because as she was out running errands their 35th Street apartment had been engulfed in flames.

Their roommate, Rothkin, had been home alone and his space heater caught on fire, Pflaster said. Rothkin was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with severe second- and third-degree burns and smoke inhalation, but was released Friday and will recuperate with his family in Baltimore.

According to the FDNY, a call for the fire was received at 10:48 a.m. and about 60 firefighters arrived at the two-story home with the fire at the rear of the first floor. The blaze was under control at 11:20 a.m. One firefighter sustained minor injuries.

“When I saw the mess, the state of everything, it was just this horrible sinking feeling. When I was allowed to go up and see, it was just terrible,” Pflaster said about what he saw once he got home.

According to Pflaster, the apartment is destroyed, and every window had to be broken by the FDNY. There are holes in the ceilings and walls, and Rothkin’s room was “gutted,” causing him to lose everything — even his cat, Pepper.

“I think I was in shock for a bit. A lot of it was strangely beautiful: holes in the ceiling give a lovely light,” Pflaster said. “There was a lot of just standing around not knowing how to even begin to clean up.”

Yet, even in these tough times a light has shone through the darkness for the three roommates from online fundraisers, started by friends, that have raised thousands in just one day.

Three separate accounts have been created on gofundme.com for Rothkin, Jones and Pflaster to help them recover from the fire and also raise enough money to sign a lease on a new apartment. In total the fundraisers have raised more than $25,000 since Friday.

“It is just wonderful. People have been so generous. People I haven’t seen in years, people I think didn’t really like me, everyone has done what they can,” Pflaster said. “It’s incredibly moving and I keep tearing up when I think of so many people who have helped out.”

Pflaster, who was able to recover some clothes and other items, is staying with friends in Astoria until he finds a new place. He also said he has had offers of furniture, clothes and gift cards.

When asked what he would tell all those who have been helping them out during this time, Pflater said, “Thank you so much. It’s been such a relief in this horrifying time. We all appreciate your support so much.”

To donate to the gofundme campaigns, visit www.gofundme.com/andrewrothkin, www.gofundme.com/jvt5oc or www.gofundme.com/jwpczs. A Facebook page has also been created for the friends.

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Fire safety education campaign launched at LeFrak City following fatal New Year’s Eve blaze


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

A new campaign has been launched at LeFrak City to help educate residents to prevent a tragedy like the New Year’s Eve fire, which killed three people, from occurring again.

Just minutes before ringing in 2015, an unattended pot of a traditional Haitian soup cooking on a stove sparked a fire that left three dead in their Corona apartment and sent flames shooting from the ninth-floor balcony, officials said.

The FDNY determined the blaze was accidental, and no working smoke detectors were found in the home.

Police identified the victims, all residents of the apartment, as Nadia Donnay, 37, Louise Jean-Charles, 59, and Napolean Michel, 69.

In response to the fire, state Sen. Jose Peralta, together with the FDNY, LeFrak City Organization and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, announced on Thursday the launch of a fire safety education campaign for the apartment complex. 

“New Yorkers awoke on New Year’s Day to news of the horrific tragedy that struck LeFrak City just as we were all ringing in 2015 and looking forward to the promise the new year held for us and our loved ones,” Peralta said.

During this campaign, the FDNY will conduct fire safety education presentations for tenants on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Continental Room of the Rome Tower of LeFrak City, located at 96-10 57th Ave. 

Food Bazaar Supermarkets donated $500 worth of smoke detector batteries, which will be available to tenants who attend the presentations, made possible by the FDNY Foundation.

“The lesson from the fire is that a working smoke alarm can be a life-saving piece of home safety equipment,” Peralta said. “An operating smoke detector provides a quick and early warning, providing the extra few seconds needed to escape a fire and potential tragedy.”

According to Gerald Rivera, general manager of LeFrak City Maintenance Services, owners are required to periodically replace smoke detectors upon expiration of their life, which is about 10 years. The replacements must then have a non-removable and non-replaceable battery that gives power to the alarm for a minimum of 10 years.

“LeFrak City has a proactive program to replace all campus detectors over a two-year period, a full year in advance of the required deadline,” Rivera said. “Since December 2013, we have replaced 1,600 of the old smoke detectors and will complete all remaining 3,006 replacements by the end of 2015.”

Malikah K. Shabazz, a tenant and president of the LeFrak City Tenants’ Association, said she will inform other tenants about the presentation by working with management to post notices on each floor and in the lobby, and send emails reminding people.

“We get comfortable and take a lot of things for granted and a lot of times we have to constantly be reminded to take precautions when you’re cooking or whatever you are doing that uses flame. You just have to be very careful,” Shabazz said. “It’s a blessing for them to come into our community and assist us in any way that they can.”

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Deadly Jamaica house fire caused by extension cords: FDNY


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

A Jamaica house blaze that killed one man and left his 89-year-old mother injured was an accidental fire sparked by extension cords, the FDNY said.

The electrical fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. Monday in the basement of a single-family home on 118th Road near Marsden Street, authorities said. It took firefighters until about 5:10 a.m. to put out the flames.

There were no working smoke detectors in the two-story house, according to the FDNY.

A 64-year-old man was taken to Queens Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. His mother was transported to Franklin Hospital in stable condition.

A third person refused medical attention at the scene.

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Corona church closes ‘until further notice’ after electrical fire


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2:10 p.m.

Devoted parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church will have to find another place to worship next week after a Sunday morning blaze ripped through their beloved sanctuary.

Church officials are not sure how long it will take to make the extensive repairs. But crews were already at work Monday.

The fire broke out at 5:45 a.m. on the first floor of Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, located at 104-11 37th Ave., not long before parishioners were expected to begin attending the first Sunday morning Mass, the FDNY said.

According to published reports, Monsignor Thomas Healy of Our Lady of Sorrows led prayers outside the church Sunday after having to cancel all masses.

Two firefighters were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital with minor injuries.

Fire marshals determined Monday that the cause of the fire was electrical due to wiring in the organ pipe tower.

According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the church has close to 12,000 to 13,000 parishioners and has been serving the community since 1872.

“All of our shrines, churches and cathedrals are sacred and special in their own individual ways. What makes Our Lady of Sorrows stand out is that it is a parish of immigrants in the Diocese of Immigrants,”  the Diocese of Brooklyn said in a statement.

On Monday the block in front of the church remained closed off by police tape, as construction crews worked on repairing the site. There are flyers posted around the block letting residents and parishioners know that there are no Mass services until further notice.

According to a receptionist at Our Lady of Sorrows, it could take one to two weeks for the doors of the church to open again because they want to make sure the area is safe and clean.

Weekday and Sunday Mass services have been now moved to the auditorium of Our Lady Of Sorrows Catholic Academy, located at 35-34 105th St. For the service schedule, visit www.olschurch-corona.org.

The school itself was closed Monday because electricity had to be shut off due to the fire. Classes are expected to resume Tuesday, according to the school’s website.

“The Diocese of Brooklyn is fully committed to helping this church rebuild so that it may continue serving its faithful community as it has been doing since 1872,”  the Diocese of Brooklyn said in the statement. “As we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, let us pray for our fellow parishioners in Corona during this time of rebuilding.”

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Families forced from their homes for the holidays after 5-alarm fire in Ozone Park


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FDNY

This holiday season has been tinged with tragedy for dozens of families who were forced to flee their homes in an Ozone Park apartment building after a raging fire swept through the five-story building’s top two floors Dec. 18.

Many of the families affected were able to find a place to stay temporarily with friends or family. But, as of Dec. 19, 11 families had no place to go and turned to the Red Cross for help. The disaster response agency provided those families with three nights of shelter in a nearby hotel.

They were also given vouchers for food and clothing. Meanwhile, Councilman Eric Ulrich also pitched in by providing some of the families with food and clothing.

Families that did not find a more permanent place to stay by Dec. 22 were told to go to the Red Cross headquarters in Manhattan, where the agency will help them look for temporary housing until their apartments are rebuilt and habitable. This alternate housing would be in city-owned properties throughout the five boroughs, according to Ulrich’s office.

Because the vacant housing stock in the city is not plentiful, the Red Cross cannot promise a local place for the families to stay temporarily and Ulrich is worried that those children who were affected by the fire may not be able to get to school once the holiday break is over.

His office is currently working with the city for local places where the families may be able to stay and has even made some calls to privately owned housing units to see if they can accommodate the families.

The fire ripped through the fourth floor and attic of the apartment building, located at 103-45 97th St., around 4:20 p.m. on the evening of Dec. 18. It took a little over two hours for fire fighters to bring the fire under control.

Fire damaged the fourth floor and attic portion of the apartment building while the other three floors sustained water damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the FDNY.

According to Ulrich’s office, the Department of Buildings believes that once the first three floors are dried out and checked again for any further damage, residents living on those floors may be able to return. But there is no timetable for when that might happen. The families living on the fourth floor will have a longer wait until they can return home as there is more infrastructure damage on that floor, due to the fire.

“We’re working with the city agencies, the Red Cross and nonprofits to make sure that those families and residents that were impacted by the fire get the services they need,” said Redmond Haskins, a representative from Ulrich’s office. “I encourage anyone who has been affected by the fire to give our office a call so we could give help.”

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3-alarm fire breaks out at St. Albans building


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic Image

It took firefighters almost four hours to control a large blaze at a St. Albans commercial building Tuesday night, according to the FDNY.

The fire broke out just after 7 p.m. at the one-story building, located at 104-03 108th Street. It quickly grew to three alarms and was under control by about 10:40 p.m., fire officials said.

The roof of the structure, a food packaging factory, collapsed, according to multiple reports.

Four firefighters suffered minor injuries, the FDNY said.

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Fire breaks out at Howard Beach building


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

A one-story commercial building on Cross Bay Boulevard caught fire Thursday evening.

Around 5:22 p.m., a fire broke out in the cockloft of the building, which houses Scott Baron and Associates Law Office, located at 159-49 Cross Bay Blvd., according to the FDNY.

Firefighters had the flames under control by about 6:00 p.m., the FDNY said.

About eight engine trucks were on scene.

There were no injuries, according to the FDNY.

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7 train service resumes between Queens and Manhattan following smoke condition


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 3:27 p.m. 

No. 7 train service was suspended in both directions between Queens and Manhattan for more than two hours Monday due to a smoke condition, the MTA said.

The incident initially halted service between the Times Square and Queensboro Plaza stations around 11:30 a.m. The suspensions on both the express and local lines continued until about 2 p.m., with no trains between Hunters Point Avenue and the last stop in Manhattan. Main Street-bound 7 express train service did resume for almost another hour.

The cause of the smoke, which was located near First Avenue, is under investigation, according to an MTA spokesman.

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Three injured in fiery Howard Beach car crash


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

A two-car accident in Old Howard Beach caused one to flip over and the other to catch fire Wednesday afternoon.

The accident happened on 159th Avenue and 99th Street at around noon. At the scene, one car was flipped on its side and hit the fence of the corner house on the block, while the other hit a utility pole and burst into flames.

fire_two

The fire was put out quickly by first responders.

Three people were taken to Jamaica Hospital and one person refused to go to the hospital, according to the FDNY.

The extent of the injuries was not immediately clear.

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Raccoon gets stuck on streetlight for hours in Ozone Park


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ERIC JANKIEWICZ

A raccoon had to be rescued in Ozone Park Tuesday afternoon after he got stuck on top of a streetlight, authorities said.

The animal became stranded on the lamp post at about 10 a.m. at Woodhaven Boulevard and 95th Street, according to police. By 2 p.m., traffic had to be completely closed off on Woodhaven Boulevard going north.

A emergency service unit, using an FDNY cherry picker, was able to get the animal down from the streetlight by 4 p.m.

At that time, police said they were still waiting for animal control to arrive to take the animal to its Brooklyn facility. It wasn’t immediately clear would what happen to the animal after it’s taken to the location.

 

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Overturned cement truck makes mess on LIE


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TrafficAdvisory

BY ANGY ALTAMIRANO AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7:02 a.m.

Commuters going westbound on the Long Island Expressway Monday afternoon faced a messy situation as an overturned cement truck spilled debris on the road.

The incident, which happened at about 12:28 p.m., occurred at Maurice Avenue near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, according to the FDNY. The driver was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, officials and reports said.

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

The accident caused delays on the LIE for several hours, and all westbound traffic had to be detoured at Maurice Avenue to the lower LIE level. Eastbound traffic also experienced delays.

720x540.jpeg.3120cb4d949d40bbb5fa38990537451d

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

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