Tag Archives: FDNY

Queens pro arm wrestlers to be featured on new AMC show


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy NYC Arm Control

Two Queens professional arm wrestlers will show their muscle in a new series on AMC.

Rob Bigwood, a Forest Hills resident, and Whitestone native Mike Ayello, are part of NYC Arm Control, the New York team on the show. The new series, “Game of Arms,” will feature professional arm wrestling teams from five states. The other members of the New York team are Mike Selearis, Dan Fortuna and Kevin Nelson.

The show intends to reveal the sport of arm wrestling in documentary style episodes starting Feb. 25. It will not only show the brawn that wrestlers need to participate, but the personal lives of the athletes.

“Game of Arms not only focuses on the technique and skill in this high-stakes world, but also the family, careers and personal struggles of each man outside of the sport,” said the AMC website description about the show.

The series will follow the personal lives of the country’s premier arm wrestling figures, such as Ayello, who is a firefighter from Ladder 135 in Glendale. Ayello said the show followed him around at home and also featured his work in the FDNY.

A graduate of Bayside High School, before he became an arm wrestler, he was a bouncer at clubs around New York City. He used to arm wrestle with the fellow bouncers, and being at 6 feet 5 inches, 270 pounds, he always won. Four years ago someone challenged him to wrestle in the professional circuit and he started researching professional arm wrestling and attending amateur tournaments. He quickly worked his way through the ranks and is recognized as one of the strongest arm wrestlers in the country.

Bigwood, who is vegan, is being featured among various accomplished vegan male athletes in a new documentary called “The Game Changers” by James Wilks, a former MMA welterweight champion and fellow vegan.

Both men believe that arm wrestling needs a show, such as the one on AMC, to expand.

“It’s actually a huge underground thing, but no one just taped into it yet, but I think this show will bring it out,” Ayello said.

The series is coming from Matt Renner and Ethan Prochnik, the Emmy Award-winning producers of the “Deadliest Catch,” and executive producer Dan Ilani.

Trailers have already been circulating about the show.

 

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Fire breaks out at JFK Airport


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A fire at a John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport cargo building Tuesday night left more than a dozen people suffering from smoke inhalation, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said.

The minor trash fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. on the cargo building’s loading bay of cargo building and was out in about 3o minutes, according to the FDNY and Port Authority.

Fourteen people were treated at the scene and four people were taken to the hospital, according to published reports.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials said.

 

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Op-ed: Stay safe – and warm – this winter


| oped@queenscourier.com

 SALVATORE J. CASSANO

More than a third of all serious fires in New York City happen during the winter months, when people often resort to unsafe measures, as they attempt to heat their homes and stay warm. As a result, there are many preventable fires resulting in unnecessary loss of life and property.

Some fires are caused by unattended open flames, such as decorative or commemorative candles, fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. They should never be left unattended and you should always extinguish them completely before going to bed at night.

Other fires are caused by electric heating equipment and the devices used in conjunction with them, like extension cords and power strips. Portable space heaters and electric blankets can be extremely dangerous if they are poorly maintained, inappropriately powered, or – in the case of space heaters – placed too close to combustible objects. You should not purchase these products, or any power strips or extension cords unless they are Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) approved and have the UL mark. You should also periodically check the integrity of these products to ensure that they don’t become too worn or damaged for use.

Most importantly, every home should have working smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors. These devices save lives. We know this because in nearly 80 percent of the fire deaths in recent years, the Fire Department found no working smoke alarm present.

We have made education about the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms a cornerstone of our Fire Safety Education (FSE) effort. Teams of Fire Safety Educators conduct hundreds of information sessions each year throughout the city, reaching about 600,000 New Yorkers every year, and at the same time they distribute hundreds of thousands of free smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and tens of thousands of detectors.

During the last year we’ve focused our fire safety efforts on communities impacted by Sandy, because of the many problems associated with the storm in these areas. Dozens of serious fires occurred both during and in the aftermath of the storm, as salt water impacted home electrical systems, and residents in these areas resorted to unconventional and even dangerous ways of heating and powering their homes. This winter, through the Hurricane Sandy Fire Safe Program, Fire Safety Educators have been reaching out to older New Yorkers in areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island that were hit hardest by the storm, hosting educational events, visiting homes to conduct fire safety reviews and discuss fire safety exit plans, and installing smoke, carbon monoxide and hard-of-hearing alarms.

The FDNY has done an extraordinary job in reducing the number of fatal fires in New York City in the last decade – which has been overall the safest in nearly a century of recordkeeping. But, even one death by fire is too many – so, our goal and commitment is to do everything possible to protect everyone from the danger of fires and that starts with prevention.

Please do your part in protecting yourself and your family by adhering to these basic winter fire safety tips, which can be viewed in full at: on.nyc.gov/JhUFjt.

Remember – working smoke detectors save lives! Please make sure you have them in your home!

Salvatore J. Cassano is New York City’s 32nd Fire Commissioner

 

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Firefighters battle two-alarm Hollis blazes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FDNY

Two separate two-alarm fires broke out within an hour of each other in Hollis Tuesday night, the FDNY said.

More than 100 firefighters and 25 units were called to a blaze at a home on 191st  Street near 109th Avenue, about 10:30 p.m.

On a night where temperatures dipped into the single digits, the fire was caused by a space heater, starting on the second floor and spreading throughout the house, according to the FDNY.

One person who was inside at the time of the fire escaped without injuries. No one else was hurt in the blaze, fire officials said. It was under control by 11:40 p.m.

A vacant home on 198th  Street near 104th Avenue in Hollis caught fire about 11:30 pm., the FDNY said.

Twenty-five units and around 100 firefighters were also called to the two-alarm blaze.

The fire, which was contained to the home’s basement and first floor, was under control by 1:15 a.m.  No one was injured, fire officials said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

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Manhole fire breaks out on Francis Lewis Boulevard


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER

A manhole fire broke out in Flushing Monday night, the FDNY said.

The Fire Department responded to the blaze at Francis Lewis Boulevard near 33rd Avenue about 8:10 p.m., and, as of 8:30 p.m., were still on the scene and awaiting Con Edison, the FDNY said.

No injuries were reported.

 

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7-year-old boy dies in East Elmhurst fire


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News

A New Year’s Day fire in East Elmhurst left a 7-year-old boy dead and a 13-year-old with second-degree burns, police said.

The blaze broke out about 9 a.m. Wednesday at a home on 90th Street near 31st Avenue, when sparks from a fireplace ignited nearby blankets and pillows, then spread to the furniture, according to the Fire Department. It was under control about an hour later.

The FDNY said the fireplace didn’t have a spark screen and there were no working smoke detectors in the house.

The 7-year-old, identified by police as Christopher Miller, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 13-year-old, who, according to published reports, is his older brother, was taken to Cornell Hospital with second-degree burns, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said an adult family member suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.

Three firefighters also sustained minor injuries, according to the FDNY.

 

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73-year-old dies in fire at Flushing retirement home


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A two-alarm fire at a Flushing retirement home Thursday killed a 73-year-old woman, police said.

The fire broke out just after midnight in an apartment at Flushing House, located on Bowne Street near 38th Avenue, according to the NYPD. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze about 3o minutes later.

Responding officers found a woman, who police identified as Natalie Blatt, inside the apartment, and she was taken to Flushing Hospital where she was pronounced dead, cops said. No one else was injured or displaced as a result of the blaze.

The fire is still under investigation, according to the FDNY.

 

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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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