By Mark Hallum
An FDNY crew responded to two fires in Queens Friday, rescuing two victims from each blaze.
In both fires, one in Jackson Heights and the other in Corona, smoke alarms were either not present or not operational, according to the FDNY, and multiple civilians and firefighters were taken to area hospitals.
The first fire broke out at 30-46 71st St. just after midnight Friday morning that left six victims needing to be treated for injuries alongside four responders, the according to the fire department.
“During the first fire this morning, we got multiple reports of people trapped, so we knew that we were going to be arriving to a fire condition. It was a panicky scene. We made our way in, went up the stairs, and were met by fire walking in the doors. It was a heavy fire condition with a lot of smoke. I went to the left, and [Fire Fighter] Rodriguez went to the right,” Ladder 154 Lieutenant Kevin O’Hare said.
The FDNY celebrated Ladder 154, Engine 307 and Rescue 4 for their actions saving lives on the second floor of each fire.
“I heard screaming from the back bedroom. I made contact with the patient and from there, the smoke started to lift. I was then able to see that there was a rear door so I pushed it out. That’s when the patient told me there were others still inside,” Firefighter Akira Rodriguez from Ladder 154 said.
The FDNY said the fire in Corona was attributed to unattended candles, while the Jackson Heights fire was still under investigation.
“When I arrived on scene, I ran up the stairs. I made my way to the apartment as Rodriguez was making his way out with the patient. I continued the search of that room and found an unresponsive young person. I was able to carry them out by myself and moved them to the street. They were not breathing, so we began our interventions. When we passed the patient to EMS, they were breathing on their own,” Lieutenant Todd Smith of Rescue 4 said.
Although more than 100 firefighters were dispatched to the second fire at 40-46 Case St. in Corona around 5 a.m., these three crews responded to both just about five hours apart, according to FDNY.
Four civilians and seven firefighters were treated for injuries at the Case Street fire. The residence was a single family, unattached dwelling. Three civilians were listed in serious condition while one is in critical condition. All were moved to Elmhurst Hospital, FDNY said, while the seven firefighters were treated with non-life-threatening injuries.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall