Huge Brooklyn Fire Engulfs Store, Snarls Traffic; 1 Dead, 9 Hurt
By Tracie Strahan nbcnewyork.com
A 46-year-old man was killed and nine others were injured in a five-alarm blaze that engulfed a hardware store early Wednesday, fire officials said.
The FDNY says the fire broke out at about 3:30 a.m. at the hardware store that sits below a set of apartments at Flatbush and St. Marks avenues in Prospect Heights.
Bassam Awad died in the blaze. Three other people were critically injured, three had minor injuries and two police officers had smoke inhalation.
Authorities say that the three people critically injured included a man in his late teens who suffered from smoke inhalation and a 60-year-old woman and another woman in her 90s. Both women were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Weill Cornell campus with serious burns.
The other victims were being treated at nearby hospitals for their injuries. The identity of the person who was killed hasn't been released.
Firefighters say that when they arrived at the scene, the hardware store was engulfed in flames and heavy smoke.
The blaze quickly spread and caused structural damage to the apartments above. Firefighters evacuated the building, and then set up an exterior operation because pockets of fire made it unsafe for firefighters to go inside the structure.
The fire was knocked down at about 6 a.m., but firefighters said they would remain at the scene throughout the morning to extinguish any remaining hot spots.
Firefighters say that adjacent structures weren't damaged in the blaze. About 30 people were displaced by the fire.
Flatbush Avenue was closed from Prospect Place to Bergen Street as more than 175 firefighters from 39 units battled the flames.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Firefighter battles blaze after falling down elevator shaft
By Aaron Feis, Priscilla DeGregory and Sophia RosenbaumDecember 16, 2014 | 2:12am
Photo: Demetrius E. Loadholt
A firefighter wasn’t going to let falling through a 10-foot elevator shaft stop him from battling a three-alarm inferno early Monday morning in The Bronx.
Thick smoke engulfed an abandoned warehouse on East Tremont Avenue at 12:45 a.m., making it difficult for Justin Reilly and his fellow members of Ladder 33 to fight the blaze.
Reilly was in the boarded-up building when he tumbled down a freight shaft.
“There was a lot of smoke, heavy smoke, and he couldn’t see it and he fell in,” Lt. Dan DiMartino told The Post. “There was zero visibility moving along and that’s not something you would expect.”
The 4-by-4-foot hole swallowed Reilly, leaving him covered in debris.
“There was a ton of rubble at the bottom of the shaft,” DiMartino, 30, recalled. “He was able to get his bearings, and he stood up and called his own mayday.”
DiMartino and four fellow firefighters worked their way to the basement and helped hoist Reilly back to the ground floor after he’d been missing for 15 harrowing minutes..
EMTs evaluated Reilly, who insisted on returning to the fight after he was medically cleared.
“When adrenaline is flowing, guys can do a lot,” DiMartino explained. “There was still more work to be done with that fire.”
Reilly rejoined about 140 other firefighters, who spent hours trying to contain the flames.
The fire was finally extinguished at 3:15 a.m.
The cause of the massive blaze is under investigation, the FDNY said.
A fire marshal at the scene said they are looking into the possibility of the blaze being set by a homeless squatter.
7 Hurt, Subway Service Disrupted After Brooklyn Blaze: FDNY
Seven people were injured in a four-alarm fire at a Brooklyn apartment building that has also disrupted service on a nearby subway line, fire officials say.
The blaze broke out on the first floor of the three-story building on Hendrix and Fulton streets in Cypress Hills at about 1 a.m. Friday, according to the FDNY.
The building, which is adjacent to the J line's elevated tracks, was heavily damaged by the flames. The blaze spread through all three floors and caused the roof to collapse.
More than 150 firefighters were called to the scene and were able to contain the spread of the blaze but have set up a perimeter in case more of the structure collapses.
Fire officials say 14 people were able to escape the building and that a firefighter was briefly trapped on the building's roof while fighting the blaze. The firefighter was able to get down using a fire escape but was taken to the hospital with injuries.
The firefighter and the other six people were hurt were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell campus. All seven victims are expected to survive.
Subway service on the J line is suspended between the Crescent Street and Broadway Junction stations while crews work to bring the fire under control. Shuttle buses are ferrying commuters between the stops, but it was not clear when service will resume.
The Red Cross responded to the building and helped residents who were displaced by the blaze.
The Cypress Hills fire came hours before another blaze killed one person and injured five others in Coney Island.
The cause of the blaze isn't immediately known.
Read more: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Fire-East-New-York-Cypress-Hills-Brooklyn-J-Line-Injuries-285593731.html
Firefighter Saves 6-Year-Old Boy From Burning Home in Brooklyn
By Stacey Bell
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014 nbcnewyork.com
A firefighter saved a 6-year-old boy from a burning home in Brooklyn as his mother watched frantically from outside the house, officials said.
The blaze at 1101 Thomas S. Boyland St. in Brownsville broke out after 2:30 p.m., and firefighters arrived to find a mother panicking over her son trapped inside, the FDNY said.
Good Samaritans had tried to run into the house to no avail, she said. Firefighters went into the home, crawled through the smoke and flames, and Lt. Robert Whelan from Engine 257 finally heard the boy's cries.
"I picked him up, heard him cough a little bit, dragged him out of the room and handed him to another guy," he said. "Everybody was doing their job and hopefully we got him in time."
The child was taken to nearby Brookdale Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.
The fire was under control within an hour, and a cause is being investigated.
Read more here: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Brownsville-Brooklyn-Fire-FDNY-Injuries-283875511.html
11/24/14 5:09 PM by David Klien
While they are primarily firefighters, they are also crime fighters when needed, as FDNY demonstrated Monday when department members followed a 33-year-old man who robbed an 82-year-old woman just feet away from Engine 247.
It all started shortly after 11:50 AM when Borough Park Shomrim received a phone call that a woman was just robbed at the intersection of 13th Avenue and 61st Street. After immediately notifying the police and responding to the scene, Shomrim members saw FDNY members running after the suspect.
They proceeded to join the firefighters and run after the suspect until 1423 64th Street where the suspect ran into a building. The pursuing Shomrim and FDNY members waited outside the building until police officers entered. After a short search, they came out with Abad Villanueua and the victim’s purse.
Upon further investigation by NYPD, it was determined that the elderly woman was simply walking on the street when Mr. Villanueua came by, snatched her purse and started running. Fire Department members who had just returned from answering a call witnessed the robbery and started chasing the suspect, FDNY spokeswoman Elisheva Zakheim told JP,
Although she was not injured, the 82- year-old was pretty shaken up, a police source said.
Mr, Villanueua, who has a lengthy rap sheet with NYPD, was charged with Grand Larceny and Criminal Trespass.
After being charged, he was transported to Lutheran Medical Center where he is being treated for hand and foot injuries that he suffered while running away.
Mr Villanueua is expected to go In front of a judge later tonight or Tuesday morning.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Union leaders are calling on the city to increase disability payments for firefighters and police officers.
Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said because of reductions in New York state pension disability benefits, newly hired firefighters and police officers would receive a pittance if injured or disabled on the job.
“New York City Firefighters have proven that we will do anything to protect life, but how can we truthfully tell a young firefighter with a family that they will be protected, when we know that is a lie?” Cassidy said in a news release.
The union is asking the city to lean on the state to raise injury and disability payments, which it said now stand at $27 per day, WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reported.
“It’s unacceptable,” Cassidy said. “Nobody would risk their lives for that. God forbid we have another terrorist attack. The citizens of New York want us to do our jobs.
Dennis Wick, 27, just became an FDNY firefighter and said he was surprised by the number.
“I graduated yesterday,” he told Lamb. “It’s definitely not enough, especially me coming out of the academy. The academy has taught me a lot, but a lot of probies get hurt early on in their career and $27 just doesn’t cut it.”
Watch Video: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/11/19/nyc-firefighters-union-pushes-for-better-disability-pensions/
By Kirstan Conley and Joe Tacopino NYPOST.com
An apartment in the Brooklyn building where a blaze killed a tenant and injured 16 others had been illegally divided into cramped, dangerous living spaces, FDNY sources said.
The fire, sparked by a faulty refrigerator wire, broke out at about 12:35 a.m. Wednesday in a three-story building on Flatbush Avenue near Farragut Road that also housed a storefront church, according to the sources.
The tenement was plagued by perilous electrical conditions, including exposed wires, fire marshals said. After the blaze, the Department of Buildings ordered the remaining residents to vacate.
The owner of the building told The Post that without his consent, a second-floor tenant had created 11 illegal small rooms in his apartment.
The fire claimed the life of a man, believed to be in his early 20s, whose identity was not immediately known, cops said.
The blaze was confined to the second and third floors of the building and firefighters got it under control at about 1:55 a.m., officials said.
Man rescued from half-frozen cemetery lake
By Kirstan Conley and Kevin Sheehan NYPost.com
A kind-hearted man almost met an early grave Sunday when he wandered out on a half-frozen lake in Woodlawn Cemetery to feed the ducks and fell through the thin ice.
The 50-year-old man, whose name was not released, meandered through the tombstones at the famed Bronx graveyard and walked out onto the ice over the water toward a family of ducks, officials said.
He was 25 feet from the shoreline around 12:45 p.m. when the ice gave out, plunging him chest-deep into the lake, authorities said.
His feet were stuck in the mud and he was unable to pull himself out, rescuers said. All the freezing man could do was cling to the sheet of ice in front of him, they said.
A cemetery worker called 911, and firefighters arrived to brave the bone-chilling water and rescue the man.
A team of Ladder 39 firefighters, who included Bravest Jason Warken, Jeff Daniels and Brian Fitzgerald, tied themselves to a safety rope, slid a horizontal ladder out to the victim and crawled out on their stomachs to pull the shivering victim to safety. The man had no strength left to help himself, firefighters said.
“He said he was cold,” Warken told The Post. “We don’t know exactly how long he was in the water. From the looks of him, it was somewhere just under 10 minutes, but he was pretty cold and pretty out of it. He just kept repeating, ‘I’m cold. I’m cold.’”
The man was rushed to Jacobi Hospital in serious condition.
Warken said it could have been worse.
“A few minutes more and he would be unconscious,” he said. “Your muscles just stop working in that cold.”
FDNY Lieutenant James Grismer warned people to stay away from ice-covered lakes while spring nears and the temperatures climb above freezing.
“We’ve had a couple of warmer days,” he said. “It’s important for people to know to stay off the ice. This guy wandered off feeding the ducks or something and fell through.”
Story by New York Post
Hero Los Angeles pooch comes home after being shot during break-in, saved by crowdfunding
BY PHILIP CAULFIELD / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Photos by: NORTH CENTRAL SHELTER INTERVENTION PROGRAM/FACEBOOK
A brave dog has returned home to her family after taking two bullets during an attempted burglary in Los Angeles.
The pooch, Charlie, lost a leg in the violent encounter, but her owners said she ended up protecting two children who were at the home during the Feb. 22 break-in, according to local reports.
According to the North Central Shelter, which cared for the wounded pup, Charlie and her canine siblings chased away the burglars, who opened fire as they took off down the street.
Charlie was struck in her front right and back right legs and lay bleeding in the road, the shelter said.
"Everybody said goodbye to the dog," Armando Casillas, one of her owners, told local KTLA-TV. "For us she was dead."
Because the family didn't have the money to take the wounded pup to a vet, animal control agents brought Charlie to the North Central Shelter for medical care.
A vet there reached out to the North Central Shelter Intervention Program, a facility that specializes in raising money for needy animals and owners.
A crowdfunding page was set up, and local animal lovers and others touched by the dog's heroism raised $8,000 to fund the pooch's life-saving surgery.
KTLA reported the dog returned home Tuesday after having her right front leg amputated.
Despite the missing paw, the pooch was back to her old self, said the shelter, which was there for the homecoming.
"She is being well taken care of and is very much loved. And she is already finessing walking around on three legs!" the shelter wrote on Facebook.
"Her family was overwhelmed with gratitude for all who cared and chipped in to save Charlie."
Charlie's surgery cost $4,000, so half the money raised will go to help other needy pets, the shelter said.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hero-pooch-home-shot-break-in-saved-crowdfunding-campaign-article-1.1711380#ixzz2vCPRTeVC
by fan sided.com
The world of comedy and the world of cinema lost an icon on Monday when Harold Ramis died in Chicago from complications he’d been dealing with from his declining health. Fans of Ramis are still mourning his loss, but there aren’t as many tears as there are touching tributes popping up to honor the comedy legend.
While fans dried their eyes passing clips of Ramis around Twitter and Facebook, an FDNY firehouse honored Ramis in perhaps the most epic and awesome way imaginable.
Ramis’ best remembered film was Ghostbusters, a movie he not only starred in by helped write as well. It was truly the most iconic thing he did but it was also the gateway drug to the rest of Ramis’ material. From his early outings like writing Animal House to his peak in fame with Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Stripes to his credit — in some form or another — to even his later years where he made films like Analyze This, Ramis left behind an epic amount of work.
He wasn’t always a name you mentioned on a daily basis, but the tributes we are seeing are proof that Ramis touched us all and will never be forgotten.
The 74-year-old man lost control and plowed his Lexus into a concrete divider near the expressway’s Liberty Avenue overpass in Jamaica at around 4:30 p.m., police said.
A heroic ESU officer pulled an unconscious from his burning car on the Van Wyck Expressway Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
Officer Matthew Hartnett, 32, spotted the flaming 4-door Lexus crashed against the divider on the southbound side of the Van Wyck near the Liberty Avenue overpass in Jamaica around 4:30 PM, Hartnett a 9-year veteran, said in a conference call.
The flames were coming out from underneath, near the engine area.”
Hartnett smashed the front passenger’s side window and pulled the unresponsive driver from the engulfed car with the help of a concerned civilian. Hartnett said, adding that he couldn’t reach the driver’s side door because it was stuck against the divider.
Hartnett dragged the driver, 74, to his department car, about 150 feet away from the blaze. He used his car to block two lanes of traffic on the expressway while executing the daring rescue.
Authorities said the driver apparently suffered a seizure behind the wheel. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he’s listed in stable condition.
WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – A national fund has been established to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died as a result of Wednesday’s fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is organizing the fundraiser and will be using the funds to “assist the survivors and coworkers to rebuild their lives and support the programs and services they will need.”
“This fire and explosion have devastated the entire town in which so many people know and care about each other,” said Chief Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF in a statement. “We want to ensure the survivors and coworkers of those who died in the line of duty know that the entire fire service family is holding them in our hearts and doing all we can to offer support.”
Donations can be mailed by check to:
NFFF c/o West, Texas Fire and EMS Fallen Hero Fund
P.O. Drawer 498
Emmitsburg, MD 21727.
Credit card donations can also be made at www.regonline.com/westtx.