At least 38 injured in high-rise fire in Manhattan, New York, US
At least 38 were injured in the fire at the 37-floor apartment on East 52nd Street, Manhattan on Saturday, 5 November 2022. Authorities believe it was caused by a lithium-ion battery in an electric bike or E-scooter. A number of fires have been attributed to the devices. As the fire tore through the Manhattan building, FDNY fire fighters made a daring life-saving, last-resort rope rescue. First, the FDNY said a heavy fire blocked the front door, which was the only way out for folks enduring the horror of the fire that left 38 people injured, two critically, five seriously. In total, four fire fighters were put on a life-saving rope to rescue a trapped victim.
“We train on that; we train on all of our procedures often,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb.
“Our first units were confronted with heavy fire at the front door, blocking the occupants only means of egress. This required a herculean team effort from our members. In total we put four of our members on a lifesaving rope. We train on that; we train on all of our procedures often. FDNY procedures fundamentally value the team effort, individuals execute that. That is what we saw inside the fire building, outside the fire building with members being lowered. We started with a member from Ladder 16 who was lowered down, he realised the victim hanging out the window was caught on the child gate. That rope system was reset and another fire fighter was lowered to the victim and held onto the victim. A member from Rescue 1 came down with a Halligan and was able to get the window gate freed, this allowed the whole weight of the victim to be on the fire fighter from Ladder 16. He was then lowered by the team above to the floor below with the victim. A fourth member then went on rope from Ladder 2 and was lowered to the floor below, at that point the inside team was able to remove the additional victims from inside the apartment. The cost of failure is great both to civilians and our members, they expect us to come prepared and we came prepared, we always do. We have a winning mindset in the FDNY, we play to win on every run, every tour, and every day,” said Deputy Assistant Chief Leeb.
Fire fighter Podgorski said, "First we identified that we had a victim who was trapped in the window gate. So my role was to go under the victim and start to take her weight, hold her weight so the member above me could free her arm and I could hold her and bring her safely below. This is why we train, when moments like this happen there is no room for mistakes, we fall back on our training.”
Leeb said efforts like this are part of the winning mindset in the FDNY, adding “we play to win on every run, every tour and every day.”
Witness Amy Bernstein said, "I can't say enough about the fire fighters of New York. The job they did was just amazing. You could see their focus. You could see their safety first; they were going to save this person."
“Today at 10h24am, we got calls for fire at 429 East 52nd Street on the 20th floor. Fire, EMS and dispatch did an extraordinary job rescuing a number of civilians, including an incredible roof rope rescue on the 20th floor. The total patient count as of right now is 38, two critical, five serious and the rest minor. The cause of the fire is a lithium ion battery connected to a micro mobility device. I cannot emphasise enough the extraordinary work of our members this morning in unbelievably dangerous conditions,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh from the scene of the 3-alarm fire at 429 East 52nd Street in Manhattan.
Deputy Assistant Chief Leeb said, “Our units were on scene in just over three minutes and were confronted with a heavy fire condition on the 20th floor. Our members did an amazing job, we saw the lifesaving rope rescue that is a last resort in the FDNY, we were able to rescue two civilians from the fire apartment. What we saw today was our training, our teamwork and our absolute dedication from the units that operated up there with the lifesaving rope and then passing them off to our exceptionally trained EMS members to get these patients off the scene and to local hospitals in a matter of minutes.”
“Fire, EMS and dispatch did an extraordinary job rescuing a number of civilians including an incredible roof rope rescue on the 20th floor. I cannot emphasize enough the extraordinary work of our members in unbelievably dangerous conditions,” said Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh on the efforts by FDNY members at 3-alarm fire at 429 East 52nd Street in Manhattan on Saturday, November 5th.
New Yorker Kiki Carson said on Facebook, "These are super heroes that quietly do their job. They save lives and put their own on the line, thank you."
Sources: Express, The New York Post, SI Live