Tag Archives: FDNY

Three injured after Richmond Hill house fire


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Three people are left injured after a house fire in Richmond Hill.

According to the FDNY, a call came in on Saturday at approximately 1:01 a.m. for a fire at 87-40 124th Street. Upon arrival, firefighters found the fire in the basement of the one-story home. The fire was under control by 3:58 a.m.

One person was taken to Nassau University Medical Center with serious burns and two people were taken to Jamaica Hospital with minor burns.

According to the FDNY, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

 

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Deadly Elmhurst fire caused by unattended candle: FDNY


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


An Elmhurst house fire that left one woman dead and several others injured was ignited by an unattended candle, according to the FDNY.

The October 7 blaze broke out around 3:30 a.m. Monday in a two-story home at 42-20 74th Street, said fire officials.

A 57-year-old woman died in the fire, according to police, and a 20 year-old man, was seriously injured with third-degree burns.

Four others, who were in the home at the time of the blaze as well as three firefighters received minor injuries, said the FDNY.

 

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Elmhurst house fire leaves one dead, several injured


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Updated 4:29 p.m.

An early morning fire in Elmhurst left one woman dead and several others injured.

The blaze broke out around 3:30 a.m. Monday in a two-story home at 42-20 74th Street, according to the FDNY.

A 57-year-old woman was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she was pronounced dead, said police.

Fire officials said a 20-year-old man was also seriously injured in the fire and taken to Cornell Hospital with third-degree burns.

Four others, who were in the home at the time of the blaze, received minor injuries and were taken to Elmhurst Hospital.

Three firefighters also suffered minor injuries and were transported to Elmhurst Hospital.

The fire was under control by 5 a.m.

The cause is unknown and the fire is currently under investigation, said the FDNY.

 

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Elmhurst firehouse celebrates centennial


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY PHOTO UNIT

Members from Engine 287, Ladder 136 and Battalion 46 celebrated 100 years of service to Elmhurst.

Firefighters, officers, former members of the firehouse and their families gathered at 86-53 Grand Avenue on September 5 for a centennial ceremony to honor their dedication.

“It’s an important day for every single person who lived in this community then and now because a firehouse is such an important symbol in a community,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. “The impact you’ve made is measured not only in the number of fires you’ve fought, but in the lives you’ve saved.”

In the past century, six members of the firehouse won medals for valor and the groups have gotten numerous awards for their rescues.

The firehouse has also lost six members in the line of duty.

“This centennial is recognizing something that happened every day and night for 100 years, recognizing the men and women who risked their lives to protect Elmhurst,” said Captain Robert Byrnes of Engine 287.

 

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Truck fire shuts down lower level of Queensboro Bridge


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Drew Hyun

A truck fire disrupted traffic on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge for the second time in about two weeks.

The FDNY responded to the blaze on the bridge’s lower level around 9:47 a.m. Monday, said an FDNY spokesperson, and had the fire under control by approximately 10:14 a.m. No injuries were been reported.

The bridge’s lower level was closed in both directions, but was reopened by around 3 p.m.

On August 16, another truck fire closed the bridge for a few hours.

Updated Monday, September 1, 3:12 p.m.

 

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FDNY defeats NYPD at Queens South Responders Basketball Tournament


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The Fire Department was just too hot to handle in the inaugural Queens South Responders Basketball Tournament at Daniel O’Connell Park on Sunday, August 25.

FDNY from Engine 317 and Ladder 165 defeated the 113th Precinct, 30-15, before crushing the community team 36-18 to win the tournament.

Jamahl Wright of the fire team scored the most points in both games, with 15 in the first and 9 in the second.

The game was organized to bring local first responders and residents together to build trust in the community.

“First responders are our partners of the betterment of our community,” said State Senator Malcolm Smith, who played for the community team, drawing on his experience playing basketball for Christ The King High School. “More important than winning is the camaraderie that comes about.”

Members of the Fire Department wore red, the NYPD wore blue and the community had white T-shirts on. While the game’s main message was about unity, the teams played very competitively.

“We out here to win,” said Shaka Gaines captain of the FDNY team. “You got be able to brag about something. So when we see them we can say ‘remember the game.’”

The first annual event brought tons of basketball fans from the community to watch. Unlike the Jump and Ball Tournament games that have been in the park every weekend during the month, these games were special, because only adults participated. It was also unique, because it brought local responders to the park for fun.

“This whole thing came together two weeks ago, so it’s a win in my eyes,” said Johnny Hines, a Community Affairs officer of the 113th Precinct. Hines came up with the idea of the game a few weeks ago and reached out to community leaders to put it together. “These guys would never be here in this park if this [tournament] wasn’t here.”

 

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FDNY: Cooking cause of fire that killed famed designer


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

The Jamaica blaze that took the life of a famous furniture designer was caused by cooking, according to the FDNY.

Charles Pollock, 83, who created one of the best-selling office chairs in history, the Pollock Executive Chair, died Tuesday morning when his 157th Street home caught fire.

According to the fire department, “several New York City fire-related deaths so far in August were caused by senior citizen cooking accidents.”

The FDNY offers the following tips on preventing kitchen accidents and cooking fires:

Kitchen accidents can be caused by:

  • Distracted cooks, including leaving the kitchen to answer the door, take a phone call or view something on television.
  • Wearing loose clothing that can catch fire when leaning over a stovetop.
  • Flammable items placed near the stove, such as towels, papers or pot holders.
  • Pan/pot handles turned outward, which are accidently bumped and overturn.
  • Cooking at temperatures higher than what is required.
  • Uncleaned cooking equipment that accumulates grease or food items.

How to prevent cooking fires:

  • Use a pot’s lid or baking soda to smother a pan/pot fire. (Do not attempt to pick up the pan/pot if there is fire.)
  • Do not use water to fight a kitchen fire, as it can splash and spread the flames.
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms.

 

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One injured in school bus crash in Willets Point


| lguerre@queenscourier.com


A school bus with as many as 20 children crashed this afternoon in Willets Point, fire officials said.

One person, who has yet to be identified, was injured in the crash at around 4:30 p.m. at the Van Wyck Expressway and Whitestone Expressway.

The injured person is being taken to North Shore LIJ, officials said.

 

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Famed designer dies in Jamaica fire


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

fatal fire 001

A fatal fire took the life of one of the world’s last mid-century designers, said police and a close friend.

Charles Pollock, 83, of Charles Pollock Designs, created one of the best-selling office chairs in history, the Pollock Executive Chair. He moved to 157th Street in Jamaica just a few years ago after a lifetime of designing, said Constance Smith, longtime friend and business partner.

“He was wonderfully creative,” Smith said.

Around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, the FDNY got a call about a basement fire at Pollock’s private, two-story dwelling. Fire officials do not know who made the call.

Minutes later, four to five fire trucks appeared on the scene, according to the FDNY and neighbors. An unidentified male, who neighbors and Smith say is Pollock, was pronounced dead.

“He had a lifelong love for design,” Smith said. “He lived for it.”

Before beginning his career, Pollock graduated from the Pratt Institute, which he attended on a full scholarship, according to Smith.

Throughout the years, Pollock was featured in publications such as The New York Times for his designs, and his work appeared in various museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and the Louvre in France.

In Jamaica, neighbors said Pollock kept to himself and lived a low-key life. He had difficulty walking and was wheelchair-bound. Some days, neighbors saw him waiting outside his home for Access-A-Ride to pick him up.

Rumors Pollock had mental health issues circled his neighborhood the morning of the fire, but Smith said those issues were addressed back when he was 22 years old. He was not married and had no children, but had a girlfriend who lives in Manhattan, according to Smith.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined as of press time, and the investigation is ongoing. A firefighter on the scene sustained minor injuries but refused medical attention, according to the FDNY.

 

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High carbon monoxide levels force evacuation of eight buildings in Astoria


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Fifty people were evacuated from eight buildings in Astoria Wednesday evening after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected, said the FDNY.

Officials ordered the evacuation around 7:30 p.m. following a manhole fire near the residential buildings along 31st Drive.

One person was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, said the FDNY.

Some of the residents have been allowed back in the buildings, but Con Ed is still investigating and checking the air quality.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers. High of 81. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 63. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros

Come see a free live performance by Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros at Gantry Plaza State Park at 7 p.m. Gerardo Contino was the lead singer for NG La Banda, one of the most recognized salsa and jazz orchestras in Cuba. Since arriving in the US in 2009, he has led his own group. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Spitzer, Stringer get personal at comptroller candidates’ debate

New York City comptroller candidates Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer traded heated barbs Monday night in their second debate. Read more: CBS New York

Paul Vallone gets big nod for council seat from former rival Kevin Kim

Politics is again making strange bedfellows. Former Democratic primary rivals Kevin Kim and Paul Vallone, who faced off in the bitter 2009 City Council race, may soon hit the campaign trail together as Kim formally endorsed Vallone for the open northeast Queens seat, the News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

New institute in Jamaica Bay will study flooding

Queens will on the cutting edge of global warming research thanks to a new think tank unveiled by federal and city officials Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

New York City firefighter accused of strangling, harassing wife

A New York City firefighter is under arrest, facing charges in an apparent domestic dispute with his wife. Read more: ABC New York

CVS requires ID for nail polish remover

One of the active ingredients in nail polish remover is acetone. Read more: Fox New York

Five injured in Whitestone restaurant fire


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Devon O'Connor, President of Welcome To Whitestone Civic Association

MELISSA CHAN AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Five people were injured, two of them seriously, when a fire erupted inside a popular Whitestone Chinese restaurant Saturday, fire officials said.

Flames broke out at Emperor House Chinese Restaurant around 4:49 p.m., according to the FDNY.

Three victims sustained minor injuries and one man was being treated for second-degree burns at Jacobi Medical Center, authorities said.

Another victim was in serious but stable condition, the FDNY said.

Workers in the 10th Avenue shopping center said a man they believed to be either the restaurant’s owner or manager “came running out on fire.”

“His whole body was burned. His clothes were on fire,” said Angel Soriano, who works at a pizzeria next door.

Soriano said his co-workers tried smothering the blaze with towels while others threw water on the man.

“It was chaos,” said Ken Chieco, who also works at the pizzeria.

Devon O’Connor, president of the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association, said the fire incinerated a woman’s hair and burned her arm.

The blaze was under control by 5:26 p.m., fire officials said. The cause is under investigation.
Emperor House was boarded up and roped off as of August 12.

Neighbors said they did not know the owner’s name, but described him as kind and friendly.

“When my daughter would work late, he would drive her home,” said Michelle Dejean. “That’s how nice that man is. Very nice people work there.”

 

 

 Updated, Monday, August 12

 

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87-year-old Ozone Park man waits half hour for ambulance


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

AmbulanceInMotionHC0507

A concerned community is responding to what they say is a “worrisome” and “life or death” situation.

Ralph Franzese, 87, was walking from his Ozone Park home to his car parked outside on 133rd Avenue last Tuesday, July 30. Despite having his walker for stability, Franzese fell backwards, cracking his head on the sidewalk. He then waited nearly a half hour for an ambulance, according to the FDNY.

A teen girl walking by saw the fall and ran to Franzese’s aid. Others nearby gathered around the senior and called 9-1-1.

While they waited for what was estimated to be 10 to 15 minutes, Frank Dardani, resident and president of the Ozone Tudor Civic, arrived on the scene and called for an ambulance a second time, he said.

The wait continued for roughly another 15 minutes, and an EMS team arrived, amounting to a wait time of 26 minutes.

“From my understanding, response time for emergencies is supposed to be four-and-a-half minutes. That’s out the window,” Dardani said. “What the real numbers are right now – that’s scary.”

The initial 9-1-1 call was made at 4:24 p.m. An ambulance arrived at 4:50 p.m., according to an FDNY spokesperson.

“Those had to be the longest [26] minutes,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo, whose own home is just around the corner from Franzese’s. “Response time is life or death.”

During the wait, Dardani said Franzese was “very jittery” and did not want to sit still. The elderly man has a low-grade dementia, he said, and did not want to go to the hospital. Neighbors worked to keep him calm and still.

When the ambulance arrived, EMS workers emerged and said they came from Woodside, which ultimately caused the long wait.

“We get an ambulance from Woodside?” Addabbo said. “That makes no sense.”

Just a few blocks away, on 133rd Avenue near 95th Street, is the Lindenwood Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Franzese was near 87th Street. However, the group doesn’t receive 9-1-1 calls and did not pick anything up on its scanner.

The 9-1-1 response time was recently criticized in July after a teen fainted at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s press conference and waited more than a half hour for an ambulance.

Franzese was eventually bandaged and brought to Jamaica Hospital. Dardani said he is “doing fine” and no problems were found aside from a head wound and swelling.

 

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Local bars, restaurants donate $3K to Sunnyside FDNY


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Melissa Navia/Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars

Firefighters at the 51st Street Fire Station in Sunnyside will now be able to get extra training thanks to a donation from a group of local bars and restaurants.

On July 25, Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, a group of 10 bars and restaurants on and around Queens Boulevard, presented Engine 325/Ladder 163 of the 51st Street Fire Station with a $3,000 check.

The money was raised in March through the Leary Firefighters Foundation during the group’s Irish Music Festival. The event, sponsored by Guinness, featured live Irish music at the participating bars.

Actor Denis Leary started the Leary Firefighters Foundation in 2000 to raise funds for fire departments to get the best equipment, technology and training.

“Such enthusiastic support from everyone in the community made it possible for us to present Engine 325/Ladder 163 with a check for $3,000 that will go toward helping the firefighters with their training at the firehouse,” said Melissa Navia, writer and social media manager for Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars.

Jim Duff, captain of Ladder Company 163, said the money will help build a bailout wall in the firehouse’s backyard, where firefighters will be able to practice jumping out of windows using a personal safety system.

Members of Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars include The Courtyard, Bar 43, Maggie Mae’s, PJ Horgan’s, Sidetracks, Arriba Arriba, Bliss Street Station, McGuinness Pub, Molly Bloom’s and The Gaslight.

“Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars was created out of a desire by local bar and restaurant owners to engage the neighborhood through year-round events and give back to organizations in the area whenever possible,” said Navia.

All the money raised at the group’s next event, the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Music Festival on September 7, will go towards the Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club.

 

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Six Queens firefighters featured in 2014 FDNY Calendar of Heroes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY

Is it hot in here, or is it just the Official FDNY 2014 Calendar of Heroes?

Featuring some of the city’s Bravest and sexiest — including six Queens firefighters — the calendar was released last week.

Every year firefighters from across the city try out to be one of 13 men chosen for the Calendar of Heroes, shot by famed nightlife photographer Patrick McMullan.

In addition to the shirtless FDNY men, each month features a fire safety message.

The calendar also promotes a good cause.

All sales proceeds go directly to the FDNY Foundation, which raises money for the Fire Department’s public safety programs and the professional development, training and education of its members.

Helping the department was one reason two-time model Rob Derrig tried out for the calendar.

Derrig, of Ladder 133 in South Jamaica, was featured as the November model in the 2013 Calendar of Heroes and appears in October in the 2014 edition.

He said his wife, Kris, was his real motivation. She wanted him to try out for the calendar since he started working for the Fire Department, said Derrig.

The Merrick, Long Island resident has been a New York City firefighter for 14 years, and has worked in Queens for about the last six. He has also been a drill instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy on and off since 2005.

Last year, Derrig finally decided to attend an FDNY Calendar of Heroes casting call as a 15-year wedding anniversary gift for his wife.

“I [thought] if I make, it it would be a nice surprise. If I don’t make it, I will just tell her I tried,” he said.

She was not disappointed with the present. In fact, she loved the photo so much that she urged him to try out a second time.

He admits he was somewhat shocked when he made it into the calendar again.

“I’m flattered because these guys are in really good shape,” he said. “Just to be asked to be included in it is kind of an honor.”

Derrig, 44, was the oldest firefighter in the calendar both last year and this year.

But he said the true honor is representing the FDNY.

“My very first day in the academy, I knew that I found my calling,” said Derring.

“It’s a physical job, but you do good things and it’s nice to help people,” he added. “They call it the best job in the world and it’s the truth.”

Joining Derrig in this year’s calendar are fellow Queens firefighters Recordo Demetrius of Engine 304 in Queens Village, Robert Morgan from Woodside’s Engine 325, Ralph Ciccarelli from Ladder 135 in Glendale, Brian Dessart of Far Rockaway’s Ladder 121 and Noel Reyes of Ladder 128 in Long Island City.

To purchase a copy of the calendar, visit www.FDNYFoundation.org.

 Video courtesy of FDNY/YouTube

 

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