FDNY Firefighters Rescue 81-Year-Old Man From Apartment Fire

In fast-spreading apartment fires, residents may have to vacate on a moment's notice whether they are ready to or not- a reality residents in a New York apartment building had to face.

Fire on the Upper East Side

Around 8:30 a.m., a fire started in an apartment on the second floor of an E. 81st apartment. According to FDNY, the fire rapidly went from the second floor up to the third floor.

The building only has four floors total. The blaze progressed quickly before the fire crews arrived onsite.

“Our first unit arrived within four minutes and was faced with a heavy fire condition. We stretched lines, raised ladders, and performed searches. It took us about an hour and 30 minutes to put this fire under control.”

Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello

Residents Caught Off-Guard

One resident, Elizabeth Kelly, was taking a shower when she heard the fire alarm. When she ran out into her bedroom, she saw that there was "so much smoke."

According to NY Daily News, residents believe that one of the older tenants may have accidentally started the fire while making breakfast.

Two older residents, an 83-year-old man and an 81-year-old man, were taken to a nearby hospital for their injuries. Unfortunately, the 83-year-old man did not survive.

The other gentleman is still in critical condition. On top of the civilian injuries, one FDNY firefighter had a minor injury.

Many Obstacles

According to ABC7 NY, there were 200 firefighters on the scene of this 3-alarm fire. The fire victims were located on the second and fourth floors of the building.

Smoke detectors were located throughout the building. However, there were not any in the apartment that caught on fire. Firefighters had to deal with heavy clutter as they attempted to search the building and put out the flames.

"Sometimes, there isn't any path into the apartment," FDNY chief Nicholas Corrado said. "And to get to the people if they are in need of help, it's difficult just to get to them."

The fire's cause was an impingement of a power cord.


Firefighters have to deal with a lot of obstacles when they are trying to do their jobs. In this case, physical obstacles in the hallways of the building slowed down their forward progress.

However, firefighters know this is just a part of the job and push forward to ensure everyone gets out safely.

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