All fires pose potential unknown dangers. However, apartment fires can be especially hazardous, especially when the fire is already raging when fire crews arrive on the scene.
FDNY was called out to a fire at the Jackson Heights apartment building at 1 p.m. on April 6th. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire was already a four-alarm fire on the building’s sixth floor.
According to WABC, around 400 firefighters from 130 separate units came to fight the blaze. Officials state the fire started in one of the apartments and spread through the hallway to the remainder of the building.
According to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, three members of the first fire crew were injured on the initial approach to the building.
The blaze took over, with flames bursting out windows and smoke pouring out of the roof. Firefighters attempted to tame the flames from the roof of the building. However, they were forced to change their tactics due to fear of the roof collapsing.
“Intermittently, we have used interior streams, exterior streams. Very difficult for our members. Very taxing. We are still operating here, we will be here for some time. NYPD is here. Red Cross will be here. Salvation Army. There will be many, many families that will be needing a place to stay tonight, so they are set up in schools and other facilities to care for those folks.”Commissioner Daniel Nigro
Firefighters spent the remainder of the day and most of the evening fighting the flames, with many firefighters and EMS on site. They are expected to be there for a few days and have yet to determine the fire’s cause.
The 8-alarm fire injured 16 firefighters and five of the building residents. Two of the injured firefighters had burns and were treated at Cornell Burn Center.
Four out of the five residents who were injured did not want any medical attention. The fifth injured resident went to the hospital for treatment of their injuries.
The apartment building had 150 apartments with 240 residents displaced. Many grabbed whatever they could and quickly fled. The Red Cross was there assisting the families.
With a blaze this massive, it takes a coordinated, team effort to be successful, especially with 400 firefighters. The FDNY did a superior job of using their skills and training, aiming for the best outcome possible.