Tag Archives: firefighters

Two toddlers die in Far Rockaway home fire


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Updated Monday, April 21, 3:35 p.m.

Two 4-year-old siblings died early Easter morning in an accidental fire at a Far Rockaway home, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters responded to a one-alarm fire in the basement of a Bay 30th Street home at about 11:56 p.m. Saturday and the fire was under control by 1:17 a.m., officials said.

The cause of the blaze has been determined to be an accidental fire due to a child playing with fire, according to the FDNY.

Five people were removed from the two-story home, including 4-year-olds Jai’Luni Tinglin and Aniya Tinglin, who were taken to St. John’s Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

The two toddlers were half-siblings, according to the NYPD.

Another 4-year old girl, Jai’Luni’s twin sister, was taken to St. John’s Hospital and is in stable condition. A 55-year-old woman was transported to Jamaica Hospital and a 63-year-old man, identified by police as the kid’s grandfather, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center. Both are listed in stable condition, cops said.

An FDNY officer was also transported to a nearby hospital with minor and none life threatening injuries, fire officials said.

According to a report published on the New York Post’s website Monday, the FDNY said that ambulances were delayed in responding to the deadly blaze.

“We are looking at the timeline and why it happened,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said, according to the Post.

 

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Queens native graces FDNY calendar cover


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

2013 FDNY Calendar Coverw

No woman ever wants to be in a situation where she needs to call the fire department, but few would mind being rescued by FDNY firefighter and Queens native Darius Dorsett.

This August his physical fitness became more than an asset for putting out fires. It became a way to sell the Official FDNY 2013 Calendar of Heroes. The 26-year-old member of Engine 260 in Long Island City was chosen as the calendar’s cover man.

The calendar, which went on sale August 13, is more than just eye candy. Each month also features a fire safety message and the proceeds from its sales 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.

The calendar is another way Dorsett, who has been working with the FDNY since high school, is helping the department.

Born and raised in Jamaica, Dorsett has resided in the neighborhood his whole life.

“I love Queens. I’m a Queens guy,” he said.

Before landing at his firehouse, located on 37th Avenue, he worked as an EMT for the FDNY.

Even back in high school he knew he wanted a good, stable career where he could help people. Through a vocational program at his school he was able to become a certified EMT.

He spent about four years as an EMT with the FDNY and worked throughout the city. But he was looking for a job promotion within the department, and decided to take the firefighter exam.

The new position also gave him the opportunity to work exclusively in Queens. He was able to request the borough in which he wanted to work and was sent to Long Island City. He’s been there since.

One of his favorite parts of the job is going out and helping people. What’s not part of most firefighters’ jobs is flexing their muscles for the camera.

This year, for the first time, Dorsett, who likes to exercise, decided to try out for the calendar.

At the tryouts were about 100 other men vying for one of the calendar’s 13 spots. Dorsett was surprised when he was chosen for the calendar and was even more astounded when he later found out he was on the cover.

Even after a Times Square signing and several news articles featuring his cover photo, he is humble. The important part for him, he said, is that it’s another way he can support the FDNY.

Dorsett is not the only Queens firefighter in this year’s calendar. Three more — Mr. March, Vinny Ruddy, 35; Mr. June, Jack Medina, 30; and Mr. December, Roger Thompson, 34 — live in the borough.

To pick up a copy, go to FDNYFoundation.org.

 

3-alarm fire engulfs Douglaston home


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

More than 100 firefighters battled a blaze at a home on Douglaston Parkway last night.

The fire erupted at 7:50 p.m. at the Douglaston home that was under construction and unoccupied at the time.

“I told the Fire Marshal I heard three explosions,” said Thomas Perrino, of Little Neck.

The explosions sounded like a gas tank, he said.

Thirty-three units and 143 firefighters responded to the flames that completely engulfed the private home.

Firefighters had the 3-alarm blaze under control by 9 p.m.  The fire was contained to the single home, though neighboring homes experienced minor damage.

The FDNY said no major injuries were reported.

— With additional reporting by Terence Cullen

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Stabbed MTA officer leaves hospital, eager to return to the job

A wounded Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer was released from the hospital and headed home Thursday, one day after he was stabbed in the eye during a confrontation in Jamaica, Queens. Dozens of MTA and city police officers were on hand to applaud at Jamaica Hospital as Officer John Barnett was brought out in a wheelchair, with a hat pulled down over his eyes. Read more: [NY1] 

Four-alarm fire sweeps through Queens residential street 

More than a dozen firefighters sustained minor injuries battling a four-alarm fire in South Richmond Hill, Queens on Thursday. It started in a house on 112th Street on Thursday afternoon and spread to the surrounding houses. Authorities say about 175 firefighters worked for an hour and 20 minutes to extinguish the flames. Read more: [NY1]

Queens lifeguard Emily Harms hailed as hero after rescuing 11-year-old from drowning

She is 21 years old, looks more like a teenager and is hardly your typical vision of the heroic lifeguard. But Emily Harms from Bellerose, Queens is all that and more. An 11-year-old boy might not be alive if not for her heroism. CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport spoke with her Thursday and heard the remarkable story. Read more: [1010wins] 

‘Transfer’ schools offer at-risk students a chance to graduate 

For some Queens high school graduates this year, the commencement ceremony represents achieving the previously impossible. But the special schools that made it happen often are tarred with bad marks due to federal standards that overlook their value, school administrators and education experts say. Ryan Rodriguez, 19, of Corona, attributes his success to North Queens Community High School — what is known as a “transfer” school, which takes students who are at risk of aging out of regular high schools. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Danielle Thomas Update: Ky. wake for Qns. executive 

Hundreds of mourners packed a Kentucky church yesterday to mourn a “small-town girl’’ who came to New York with big dreams, only to be murdered — allegedly by her lawyer boyfriend in Queens. Some 800 friends and family members wept as they filed into Centenary Methodist Church and surrounded the closed casket holding Weight Watchers executive Danielle Thomas. Read more: [New York Post] 

Scaffolding that malfunctioned in Queens wasn’t sanctioned 

The scaffolding that malfunctioned on Monday in Sunnyside leaving a worker dangling for dear life was not sanctioned, the Daily News has learned. The incident underscores a dark underbelly within the construction trade, a Queens lawmaker said Thursday. The city Department of Buildings issued a partial stop-work order at the 45th St. construction site and is investigating what caused the scaffolding to collapse, officials said. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

 

Queens firehouses in danger


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Politicians, civic leaders and firefighters rallied recently in Queens to prevent 20 fire companies from going up in smoke.

Dozens gathered on Tuesday, May 29 outside Engine 294 in Richmond Hill, one the 20 fire companies that may close due to budget cuts, including students from nearby P.S. 273.

The children, brandishing signs, led the crowd in chants of, “Save our firehouse and you save me.”

This is the fourth consecutive year lack of funding has threatened to close firehouses. Twenty also faced the chopping block last year, but were saved in the final budget.

“We need to make sure that when a budget is passed in New York City, it is a budget that keeps our residents safe,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the Council’s Fire and Criminal Services Committee.

No official list has been released of the fire companies that may close, but last year’s list included four in Queens: Engine 294, Engine 328 in Rockaway, Ladder 128 in Sunnyside and in Engine 306 in Bayside.

“Hopefully, no companies close,” said an FDNY spokesperson. “Right now, it looks like it will go that way.”

The city’s budget will be finalized by the end of June.

If Engine 294 is eliminated, it would be the third time in its history it has closed.

The first closing lasted six years – from 1975 to 1981 – and the most recent was in 1991.

Two men were killed in a fire shortly after the closing in 1991.

“If [Engine 294] was here that day, those two men may still be alive,” Crowley said.

Though Engine 294 directly serves Richmond Hill and the surrounding communities of Woodhaven and Ozone Park, closing any companies affects every neighborhood in the city, said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

“If they close 20 fire companies it will affect every neighborhood in the city of New York, not just the ones they close them in, every neighborhood,” Cassidy said.

“If you take Engine 294 out of the equation, response times will rise for medical emergencies and fires.”

Engine companies also provide emergency medical attention, in addition to responding to fires.

“We’re playing with fire, and what happens when we play with fire. We get burned,” said Senator Joe Addabbo. “This is not a game we should be playing. We shouldn’t be playing with fire.”

New York City is ranked last in the number of firehouses per capita, said Eddie Boles of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

“This is our life we’re talking about,” said Maria Thomson, president of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District. “This is life and death.”

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Long Island City experiences new real estate boom 

 

Long Island City is undergoing another real estate boom, buoyed by a new batch of residential towers, hotels and high-profile property deals. Local real estate experts said they believe the momentum — with an influx of waterfront high rises and almost 20 hotels — is due to the once industrial neighborhood’s soaring reputation and an improved economy. Read more: [New York Daily News]  

 

A rookie and veteran, both from Ladder 163 in Queens, set to be honored at FDNY Medal Day

Firefighters at Ladder 163 in Queens have double the reason to celebrate at this year’s FDNY Medal Day ceremony. Two of their members will be cited for going above and beyond the already-dangerous call of duty as a New York City firefighter. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Residents Flock To Rockaway Beach For Memorial Day Weekend

For early risers, Rockaway Beach can be almost a private playground on the sand and in the water. “You want to beat the crowds because it’s harder to get some good long rides in,” said one resident. “I’m still learning and I have a lot to learn but at least I’ll have some space.” Read more: [NY1]

 

Vet: US wishes I’d die

While Americans spend today at parades and ceremonies honoring service members killed in the line of duty, one Queens veteran believes government bureaucrats can’t wait for him to die. Frank Bari, a 62-year-old lawyer, has been waging an eight-year legal battle with the Veterans Administration over his claims that he was left permanently disabled by the Agent Orange that was sprayed on him while he served with the Coast Guard in Vietnam. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Jackson Heights man inducted into state Veterans Hall of Fame 

A Queens man who coordinated the largest air rescue behind enemy lines in American combat history has been posthumously inducted into the state Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. George Vujnovich, a retired small business owner from Jackson Heights, was awarded the Bronze Star in 2010, 66 years after the conducting the rescue. He died in late April at the age of 96, shortly after state Sen. Jose Peralta informed him of the induction. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

NYC Honors Military Members Who Gave Their Lives

Events are going on around the city and the country Monday to honor those who died in service to the nation. Mayor Bloomberg paid tribute to the nation’s fallen at a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Upper West Side. Read more: [NY1]

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

 

Woman Found Dead In Burning Bayside Building

A woman is dead and a man is hospitalized after a fire in Queens. The flames broke out around 7 p.m. Wednesday in the basement of a two-story home on 214th Place in Bayside.  When firefighters arrived, they found a 33-year-old woman dead from an apparent stab wound and a 50-year-old man who tried to hang himself in a closet. Read more: [NY1]

 

Son fought off father who allegedly slashed wife with meat cleaver

A brave son and a Good Samaritan fought off a maniacal Queens man as he slashed his wife with a meat cleaver this morning, cops said.The couple were fighting in their Flushing apartment on Parsons Boulevard, when husband Kang Wang, 53, attacked his wife, Huizhen Liu, 52, at about 5:55 a.m., sources said. Read more: [New York Post]

 

Suspect Charged With Robbing Blind Queens Woman

A suspect has been placed under arrest and charged with robbing a blind Queens woman. Investigators say Latisha Richardson, 39, of Queens and an unidentified man targeted the 68-year-old victim at the F line station at 75th Avenue in Forest Hills back on April 16. Read more: [NY1]

 

Devils waste 3-goal lead but win behind Ryan Carter’s late goal

The Devils turned a stellar first nine minutes and an opportunistic final five into a stirring victory over the Rangers that moved New Jersey within one win of a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. Suddenly, No. 1 seed New York is on the brink — again. Read more: [ESPN]

 

First Presbyterian Church to mark 350 years with Street Fair and community service

First Presbyterian Church at 89-60 164th St., Jamaica, is celebrating its 350 anniversary with a variety of activities including a street fair and by taking the church out into the community. Saturday, May 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

Martin Luther beats Brooklyn Friends, 3-0, to win PSAA Division II baseball championship at MCU Park in Coney Island

 

Kevin Schick doesn’t look like a shutdown pitcher when he’s warming up. Martin Luther’s senior lefthander is a soft-tossing, side-armer with a slender frame. But once the game begins, Schick has impeccable control, and he even finds a way to use his lack of velocity as a strength. Read more: [New York Daily News]

 

City youths vie for spot in free tennis clinic at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing

 

For a young New York City tennis player, it’s a long — not to mention expensive — road from the neighborhood hard court to playing Arthur Ashe Stadium in late August. But at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing on Saturday, more than 200 kids competed for a little help in getting there. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Firefighters feted following Lindenwood blaze, rescue


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo by Robert Stridiron

Firefighter James Goelz made his first on-the-job rescue when an elderly woman’s Lindenwood apartment became a blazing inferno.

“When we got [to the building] there were people standing outside the apartment,” said Goelz. “When we got to the lobby we could smell something. People said there was something going on. We knew we were going to work that day.”

On Friday, April 6, fire safety officials responded to a call at the Ardsley apartment building, located at 153-25 88th Street.

Alex Alarcon, the Ardsley’s super and a tenant himself, recalled awaking that morning to the frightening sound of banging on his door. Alarcon, who has overseen the apartment complex for the past 22 years, said the male tenant who was knocking exclaimed that there was a fire on the fourth floor of the building.

When he went upstairs, Alarcon said the entire place was black and filled with smoke.

The tenant who alerted him called the fire department. Firefighters from Brooklyn’s Ladder 107 arrived shortly thereafter.

Responding firefighters surveyed the building’s layout, deducing that the fire originated from a unit on the fourth floor. Using a thermal imaging camera, Goelz, along with Lieutenant Gerry Cox and John Bunning, found the source of the blaze. Upon entering the smoke-filled residence, Goelz discovered the elderly, unidentified victim unconscious.

Cox carried the woman downstairs and outside, where he performed CPR on her. Goelz stayed behind to search for more victims. Thankfully, there was no one else in the apartment.

According to Alarcon, there has never been a fire in the Ardsley building before.

Alarcon alleged that the woman, would smoke and fall asleep with her cigarette still lit. He claimed that on several visits to her apartment, he noticed marks on the ground from where she would drop her cigarettes. Alarcon said he urged the tenant not to smoke in bed.

According to the FDNY, fire marshals determined the cause of the blaze to be careless smoking.

Goelz, who has been fighting fires for the past six years, said that regardless of the known danger, people continue to light up in bed.

“It is pretty common,” said Goelz. “It’s surprising that people do it, but they do. It’s not off the wall.”

The local hero is extremely proud of the rescue, especially the commendable job done by his fellow firefighters.

“It felt good,” said Goelz. “We did what we were supposed to do. Everyone did a good job and we really worked together. Everything went really clean. She’s still fighting for her life and that’s what it’s all about. You don’t get that opportunity all the time.”