Tag Archives: FDNY

Jackson Heights fire injures four, displaces families


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

An early morning fire in Jackson Heights Wednesday left four families displaced and injured four.

The two-alarm blaze broke out around 2:30 a.m. on the second floor of a two-story building on Roosevelt Avenue near 80th Street, said the FDNY, and was under control about an hour later.

Fire officials said four people received minor injuries in the blaze, including two firefighters.

According to the Red Cross, the fire displaced four families, two of which required emergency housing that the Red Cross provided. The Red Cross said it also provided emergency funds for basic necessities, such as food and clothing.

 

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Retired FDNY lieutenant featured in documentary series highlighting ‘unsung heroes’


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Coyne PR

John Nolan, retired FDNY lieutenant, worked to rebuild homes in Sandy-devastated communities after the superstorm and became one of the area’s many “unsung heroes.”

Now, Shell Rotella, an engine oil organization, has highlighted Nolan and several others in a short-form documentary series, “Unsung Heroes,” that tells the stories of these overlooked saviors and how their work and lifestyles are intertwined.

Nolan’s nearly five-minute clip opens up with the firefighter-turned-contractor pulling up to Breezy Point’s fire zone, which was reduced from over 100 homes to just rubble.

He said the night of the storm, the 500 active firemen in the neighborhood tried to save whatever they could after floodwaters rose high and a blaze broke out, catching quickly.

“Early evening when the fire started, it went to high winds, homes were catching fire one right after the other,” he said.

A shift in the wind allowed the Fire Department to get water on the houses that hadn’t yet started burning, but even still, the day after “it was just massive destruction everywhere,” Nolan said. “The entire community needed help.”

He and others from the fire “brotherhood” worked through the summer to get the beach front community back on its feet.

“We came together as the Fire Department always does and did whatever we had to do to get the people back into their homes,” he said. “It seems like every day is a sense of urgency; there aren’t enough hours in the day.”

He continued, “In Queens, you don’t judge a guy by how tough he is, by how many guys he can knock down. You judge a guy by how many times he can get back up,” he said. “That’s the Rockaway, Breezy community. They’re a resilient group of people.”

Nolan’s story and the other “unsung heroes” can be seen on www.youtube.com/rotellaunsung.

“Working on a project like “Unsung” really opened my eyes to the men and women working tirelessly to keep this country moving,” said Geoffrey Campbell, producer of the documentaries. “I have a newfound gratitude for the many people who put in long hours and work hard in a truck each day.”

 

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11 injured in four-alarm fire at Kew Gardens apartment building


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FDNY

Updated Wednesday, November 13 12:07 p.m.

A four-alarm blaze at a Kew Gardens apartment building Tuesday night left 11 people injured and displaced several families.

The fire started just after 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the 129th Street dwelling and extended to the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors, and an area below the roof, said the FDNY.

Eight firefighters and three residents suffered minor injuries in the blaze.  Those hurt were taken to Jamaica Hospital and North Shore Hospital, according to the fire department.

The FDNY said the blaze was under control at about 9:15 p.m.

Mireille Fabius, 81, said herself, and the other residents who live on the ground floor had to be evacuated.

”I came out and it was turmoil. We didn’t know what w as going on,” she said.

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The Red Cross, who sent workers to the scene to assist displaced residents, said 12 units were either destroyed by the fire or vacated as a result.

According to a spokesperson for the organization, the Red Cross had to provide emergency shelter to four households and the remaining displaced families were able to find their own housing.

-With additional reporting by Melissa Chan

 

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Bone marrow donor drive to help toddler with rare disease


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Delete Blood Cancer

An FDNY firefighter and his wife are looking for a bone marrow donor to save their son.

Two-year-old Owen Hogan was diagnosed in April with severe aplastic anemia. The rare disease causes a deficiency in blood cells and can impair the body’s ability to fight infections.

The New Hyde Park toddler, who loves trains and playground swings, needs a bone marrow transplant to live.

“It’s pretty rough, and that’s putting it nicely,” said his father, Tim Hogan. “It’s the most difficult thing we’ve ever dealt with. We had the world at our feet and all of a sudden it came crashing down.”

Tim, who works out of Engine Company 216 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said he and his wife, Kathleen, noticed bruising on Owen’s body and learned of the tragic diagnosis during a trip to the doctor.

Owen has undergone months of failed immunosuppressive therapy to try to get his body to produce adequate blood cells. He gets platelets transfusions every week, his father said.

“His body is just not cooperating,” Tim said.

If Owen finds a perfectly matched donor, he has a survival chance of up to 90 percent, his family said. An imperfectly matched donor drops Owen’s chances down to 40 percent.

“As of now, we know there is no available match for Owen but we remain hopeful that in spreading the word, the registry will continue to grow and a match for Owen will be found,” Tim said.

According to Delete Blood Cancer, a nonprofit that is part of the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, only four out of 10 patients looking for a donor get a transplant.

The family has held a handful of donor drives throughout Queens and Long Island in search of Owen’s potential hero.

An upcoming drive will take place Saturday, November 9 at the Floral Park Village Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Floral Park Village Hall is located at 1 Floral Boulevard.

Donors between the ages of 18 and 55 will have to register and have their DNA tested with a simple cheek swab.

To join the blood marrow registry or sign up for a free at-home swab kit, visit deletebloodcancer.org.

“I’m hopeful,” Tim said. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to find the best possible match. It’s a race against time.”

 

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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


By Queens Courier Staff | 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

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New institute in Jamaica Bay will study flooding

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New York City firefighter accused of strangling, harassing wife

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