NEW YORK - FDNY firefighters rescued two women from a fire in Lower Manhattan on Aug. 17.
A call was received for a fire on St. Marks Place just before 8 a.m. Firefighters from Ladder 9 said they received reports of people trapped inside and, upon arrival, saw smoke pouring out the windows of the first floor apartment.
“We had a feeling this was something serious,” Firefighter John Rocchio said.
After rushing inside, they forced open the fire apartment door and there was thick smoke from ceiling to floor.
“You couldn’t see anything, not even your hand in front of your face,” Firefighter Rocchio said.
The fire was located in the middle of the apartment, in the living room, and they crawled past it to search the bedrooms.
Lt. Michael Demeo came across an unconscious woman in a bedroom. He and Firefighter Rocchio grabbed her and carried her out the apartment door.
Simultaneously, Probationary Firefighter Marlon Sahai found a second unconscious woman almost under a bed.
“I picked her up and just followed Lt. Demeo and Rocchio out – they were leading the way,” he said.
Both victims were taken to the street, where FDNY Paramedics Eric Gruarin and Philip Jugenheimer from Station 4 and EMTs Peter Maisonave and Ahmed Adekoya from Station 8 helped work on them and other victims before transporting them to local hospitals. The two women were in serious condition.
The firefighters then returned to the apartment and finished their searches.
Firefighter Sahai, who graduated from the Academy in December, said this was his first rescue, “It’s something I never thought I’d do, but it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”
He said one of the victim’s mothers called to thank the firefighters and tell them her daughter’s condition was improving, “It was a great job by everybody and I’m just happy [the victims] survived and are getting better – and I hope they’ll continue getting better.”
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