Firefighters rescue family in Brooklyn blaze

Published: March 6, 2007 | 5737th good news item since 2003

A Brooklyn mother and her two young children, trapped in their bedrooms behind a wall of flames and heavy smoke, were hospitalized with serious injuries after being rescued by firefighters early Sunday, authorities said.

The fire broke out just before midnight in the top-floor kitchen at 870 Coney Island Ave., a four-story brick apartment building in the Ditmas Park neighborhood, authorities said.

Firefighters assigned to Ladder Company 147, who first arrived at the building, entered the fourth-floor apartment to search for victims, said Lt. Gerard Curran, the supervising officer at the scene.

“We had to go in without the line, because we knew there were people in there,” Curran said.

The firefighters dodged flames along a 25-foot hallway to carry out the victims, all of whom were unconscious when they were rushed to the burn unit at New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, officials said.

The mother, Asa Flores, 38, was listed in critical condition at the hospital with severe smoke inhalation and some burns, while the children, Abdul, 2, and Abraham, 4, were in stable condition with severe smoke inhalation, officials said.

“It looks like they are all going to live, which is tremendous,” Curran said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but did not appear to be suspicious, officials said.

The three men who carried the family members out were firefighter Sean O’Grady, a veteran of two tours in Iraq, who only began duty with the Fire Department last week; firefighter Christopher Deszcz, a 15-year veteran; and firefighter Donald Wonderlich.

“We drill and constantly train,” Curran said, “and when we have something like this and we do it effectively it makes it all worthwhile.”

Published in Firefighters, Rescues
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