Multiple rescues at Box 1675
Fire Department City of New York
“There were multiple people trapped above the fire here in dire, extreme conditions of heat and smoke. Members aggressively entered the building, pushed forward, went to the roof and working together, members of Ladder 23, Ladder 34, and Squad 41 used two roof-ropes. They deployed two roof-ropes from the roof down to the sixth floor and were able to rescue a five-year-old child, and keep another seriously exposed person within the apartment, and save that person. Twelve people in all were saved at this fire thanks to the excellent abilities of these members,” says FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro on scene in Washington Heights, where FDNY members put into operation two separate life-saving ropes to access individuals trapped in sixth-floor apartments above a 2-alarm fire burning on the fifth floor.
Firefighter Jose Castro of Squad 41 was lowered from the roof to the sixth floor, where it was deemed safe to remove the person through the interior. Simultaneously, Firefighter Jairo Sosa of Ladder 34 lowered Firefighter Abe Miller of Ladder 23 to the sixth floor, where he rescued a five-year-old child from the window and lowered the child safely to the ground below.
Firefighter Miller says, “When we looked over the side of the building we saw a little girl’s hands on the window guards and her grandmother was holding her up to try to get her out just so she could breathe. Firefighter Sosa already had the life-saving rope out. We’ve worked together before so we jumped into action and everything just happened so quick. I went over and he lowered me down to the window. I was able to punch through the window and grab the child out of the window. FF Sosa lowered me to the ground. It was tough but we did what we had to do, we didn’t think twice about it. We practice this drill every Monday, but this was my first roof-rope rescue. This is a team effort.”
Chief of Operations Thomas Richardson says, “This is what we train for, to be ready and prepared all the time. I want to acknowledge our members from EMS Operations who, once we removed the victims from the fire, were able to work on these folks and successfully resuscitate them and get them to the local area hospitals.”