40 families out of their homes

Fire rips through six-story Hamilton Heights building, forces more than 40 families out of their homes

More than 40 families were forced out of their homes as a massive blaze ripped through their Hamilton Heights apartment building Friday, authorities said.

Gigantic flames could be seen punching through the roof of the building on W. 144th St. and Broadway at about 3:15 p.m., according to the FDNY.

“The one room on the top left corner was completely on fire and the flames were coming out the window,” witness Nadia El Hannari said.


The blaze quadrupled in size as firefighters raced to the scene.


The size of the blaze quadrupled as firefighters raced to the scene.

Row of shops in Inwood engulfed in four-alarm blaze

“Ten minutes later, the next four or five windows, flames were shooting out,” El Hannari said. “It happened so fast.”

Firefighters douse the burning building Friday night with water.

Firefighters douse the burning building Friday night with water.


Firefighters “were on the fire escape breaking windows on the second floor and climbing in,” she said.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.

The fire started on the top floor of the century-old building.

The fire started on the top floor of the century-old building.


One resident was rushed to a local hospital with smoke inhalation and three firefighters suffered minor injuries, he said.

Accused Brooklyn blaze culprit says deadly fire was unintentional

“My friend, his mom was crying she thought her kids were in there. She was having an anxiety attack,” said Nicole Manard, 19, who’s father is the superintendent in the burned building. “There was fire everywhere. It looked like it was in the trees, in the scaffolding,” Manard explained.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.

The burning roof collapsed into the top floor as the fire raged on, officials said.


The 11 miles-per-hour winds in the neighborhood caused the blaze to spread quickly, forcing the 42 families in the building out into the street.

Fire kills 2 in Dyker Heights, arson suspected

Fire kills 2 in Dyker Heights, arson suspected


POSTED 9:04 PM, NOVEMBER 9, 2017, BY

DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — Roaring flames burst from the windows of an apartment building in Dyker Heights where two people died in a fire that’s being investigated as arson, sources said.

The fast moving fire was deliberately set by someone who dumped an accelerant in the lobby of the building around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement sources said.

“I heard the sirens, when I came out I realized that flames were shooting out of the back apartment alongside where we live,” said witness Heidi Pugni.

More than 100 firefighters and paramedics responded to the fire.

“It spread rapidly from the first floor up throughout the building. [There were] very heavy fire conditions in the hallway. Going through and to the top floor fire out the top floor window,” said James Leonard, chief of department for the Fire Department.

When the smoke cleared, firefighters found the lifeless bodies of a 58-year-old man and 56-year-old woman. Their bodies were burned beyond recognition, sources said.

Seven people were rushed to area hospitals including firefighters, Leonard said.

“My sister heard fighting and yelling coming from the back of the building. Then she noticed that the door handle was hot,” said Karen Hernandez, who escaped the building clutching her cat. “My mother checked and told us there was smoke coming from the back of the building. We went down the fire escape.”

Investigators from the city Fire Marshals, NYPD Arson and Explosives Squad and federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms inspected the rear of the building, where a fire escape was draped with charred clothing.

10 Story Building Challenges Firefighters

Small Equipment Fire on Roof of 10 Story Building Challenges Firefighters with Difficult Access11/08/17


At 0835 this morning fire crews were dispatched to a report of a fire at 715 SW Morrison. This is a 10 story high rise building and the fire was reported to be in a piece of equipment on the roof. Access to the fire was hampered because there was no internal access to the roof and the firefighters had to use the external fire escape and firefighters ladder (attached to the fire escape) to access the roof. The fire was quickly extinguished and crews have now cleared the scene.

High rise fires, where the fire is elevated on an upper floor, are very labor intensive operations. Firefighters must carry all of their firefighting equipment aloft while working simultaneously to evactuate occupants. Portland Fire and Rescue’s high rise response first-alarm includes six engines, two ladder trucks, 2 heavy squads, and several chiefs. These crews are used to attack the fire, evacuate occupants, ferry equipment up and down the stairwells, evacuate smoke from the building, contact building managers to provide specific information, and to manage the building’s sprinkler, alarm, and air handling systems to help and not hamper firefighting efforts. An aggressive firefighting effort, while a high rise fire is in its early stages, is necessary to prevent the fire from potentially overwhelming those resources. While very rare, high rise fires from around the world remind us of the power and danger that an uncontrolled high rise fire can pose.

High rise buildings are designed and built to rigorous fire and life safety codes that address design-specific concerns to make these buildings very safe to inhabit. Occupants should always be familiar with emergency evacuation routes, participate in regular fire drills, and know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher on your floor.



Twitter photo via @NYCFireWire

By NY1 News  |  November 7, 2017 @9:08 AM


City fire crews on Monday worked to quickly evacuate a mom and her infant after a fire engulfed a building in Brooklyn.

Flames broke out around 3 p.m. on the second floor of a four-story apartment building located at 519 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

Firefighters took a little less than a hour to get the blaze under control.

Officials say crews were able to evacuate people who lived in the building where the fire started.

In a building next door, firefighters helped a mother and her baby to safety.

Their apartment was not affected by the flames, and they were evacuated by their fire escape.

Officials say three people were hurt in the incident.

Tenants helped down ladders, awoken from bed by first responders

Quick work by Olean police, firefighters prevents tragedy at apartment fire

Tenants helped down ladders, awoken from bed by first responders

  • By TOM DINKI, Olean Times Herald

Olean Police Department officers

OLEAN — Olean police officers and firefighters responded to 114 E. Oak St. during the early morning hours of Oct. 30 to find a scene that some of them called their worst-case scenario: a structure fire with people, including children, trapped inside.

But through some quick thinking and quick action by members of the Olean Police Department and Olean Fire Department, all occupants were safe and accounted for by the time the flames died out a few hours later.

First responders helped a total of five people, including two children, escape the apartment building via ladders, as flames blocked off a stairwell where the fire began; police found fire-starting materials in the stairwell and have ruled the blaze an arson, but have yet to announce an arrest. Another tenant was rescued after an officer made a forcible entry into a first-floor apartment and alerted him of the fire.

While the officers and firefighters involved in the rescues were willing to share their experiences, they all maintained their actions weren’t anything beyond what’s in their job descriptions.

“If you pick this profession and don’t put other people first, you’re in the wrong job,” said Olean patrolman Matt Schnell.

Schnell and fellow patrolmen William Beggs and Kyle Baldwin, as well as Olean Police Capt. Andrew Langdon, were already out on patrol throughout the city when the fire was called in at approximately 1:19 a.m. They were the first to arrive at the burning East Oak Street home, something that’s not unusual when it comes to fires.

“Firefighters do a great job, but you got to keep in mind they have to get gear on, they have to get the trucks running,” Beggs said. “You kind of have to be able to adapt to different scenarios when you’re a cop just because most of the time you’re going to be the first one out there.”

The officers were forced to adapt, as they arrived on scene to find a woman hanging half her body out of a second-floor window and calling for help, as well as two adults and two children having difficulty making their way down a wooden fire escape from a third-floor apartment.

Langdon credited Schnell for using “quick wits” to find about a half-dozen extension ladders lying around that a contractor believed to be doing work on the building had left outside.

A fire escape allowed Stephanie Searles and her two young children, as well as an adult male, to get down from a third-floor apartment to a second-story deck, but there were no steps to get down from the deck. Schnell and Beggs used the ladders to bring the four of them safely to the ground from there.

Schnell said Searles’ young son was frightened and initially didn’t want to come down from the third-floor apartment.

“The mom thought our presence kind of calmed him down to where he was willing to come down,” he continued. “The kids were stellar. They were crying, they were a little scared, but I think all the adults, myself included, were more nervous than them. They’re brave little kids.”

Meanwhile, Langdon grabbed one of the ladders to assist the woman down from her second-story window. However, firefighters then arrived and ultimately Olean firefighter Nate Veno used one of the fire department’s ladders to rescue the woman.

“Capt. Langdon was there to assist me in anything I needed,” Veno said. “He assisted me as I climbed up and got her out of the window.”

While his fellow officers tended to those who were visibly trapped, Baldwin entered an unlocked door to the building to make sure no one else was stuck inside. He found a locked apartment door, and after knocking several times and hearing no response, used his shoulder to open the door.

Inside the apartment, Baldwin woke a sleeping Mark Wilson, who was unaware of the fire.

“It’s definitely a rush, for sure, because you know you have to act fast, you know you have to make that split-second decision,” Baldwin said. “You don’t want to say it’s the right one or the wrong one because it happens so fast, but you better make sure it’s the right one.”

Baldwin said no one instructed him to enter the building — just as no one instructed the other officers to grab ladders and start the rescue process. Police did what their “gut” told them, he said.

“The team that just happened to be there that day, we work real well together,” Beggs said. “We didn’t even have to speak — everybody just split up and accomplished everything that needed to be accomplished.”

When arriving first at a fire, Langdon said police simply have to assess and the deal with the situation they’re presented.

Flowerpots on a Fire Escape?

Can a Neighbor Keep Flowerpots on a Fire Escape?



Fire tears through Sanford neighborhood

Fire tears through Sanford neighborhood, destroying apartment buildings

A resident of the building where the fire started said she climbed down a fire escape to get out and was one of 4 people taken to a hospital for various reasons, including smoke inhalation.






SANFORD — A fast-moving fire damaged or destroyed six buildings in the heart of Sanford on Thursday afternoon, sending at least four people to the hospital.

Witnesses said they smelled smoke long before seeing flames in a pile of trash on the back porch of one of the buildings, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. The flames spread to four buildings on one side of Island Avenue before jumping across the street and damaging two others, officials said.

“Eyewitnesses told us the fire started outside on a back porch (at 33 Island Ave.),” State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said. “Some people said they could smell smoke for an hour prior to seeing the fire, which would lead us to believe that it was a smoldering fire. That would suggest it could have been started by a discarded cigarette.”

A team of four fire marshals was expected to spend the night sifting through rubble in the burned out neighborhood and interviewing witnesses before trying to pinpoint the fire’s cause on Friday, Thomas said. Two of the buildings at 33 Island Ave. and 35 Island Ave. were expected to be torn down overnight because they pose a safety hazard.

Four people were transported to local hospitals, including one with a cardiac-related condition. Fire Chief Steven Benotti said one person suffered smoke inhalation and two experienced anxiety. He did not have further information about their conditions.


Video courtesy of Amber Crocker via Facebook

Sanford Police Chief Thomas P. Connolly Jr. said police officers and firefighters escorted students from the nearby Lafayette Elementary School to buses after classes ended Thursday. The chief estimated the school is about 150 yards from the fire scene. If the wind had been blowing in the direction of the school, the students would have been evacuated, but he said they were never in danger.

“It was a nasty fire,” Connolly said.


Benotti said the fire, which was first reported at 1:15 p.m, put firefighters in danger because power lines were burning and falling into the street.

No firefighters were injured, but power to the neighborhood had to be shut down for several hours, Benotti said. Firefighters used a drone with a video feed to see the sprawling fire from the air and help direct the fire hoses that poured water into the burning buildings.

Benotti estimated that more than 100 firefighters from 25 agencies in Maine and New Hampshire responded to the scene.

14 injured as fire burns

14 injured as fire burns through Brooklyn apartment building



Fourteen people were injured, one seriously, in an early morning fire at a Brooklyn apartment building.

The three-alarm blaze broke out just before 5 a.m. Monday in a kitchen on the second floor of the four-story building on 49th Street in Borough Park.

It quickly rose up the cockloft to the top floors.

When the fire started burning, fire crews believe it had time to spread before the families inside knew about it, making for frantic moments as they tried to escape.

“Some neighbors got us out, some people called us,” resident Martici Weinberg said. “And they rang the bell, ‘fire.’ We grabbed the kids. We got out.”

The smoke was so intense that nine people took the fire escape, climbing to the roof to avoid the flames.

In the second-floor apartment where investigators believe the fire began, a woman trapped by the bars on her windows.

“There was no way she could get out,” FDNY Deputy Chief Peter Leicht said. “We had a firefighter on the roof. He heard her call. The firefighter on the roof called our inside team. The inside team was dispatched to go into the rear bedroom.”

The fire crews walked through flames to get to her, but by the time they reached her, the woman was unconscious.

She was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

Nine others who lived in the building were treated for minor injuries.

More than 130 firefighters responded to the fire. Four of them suffered minor injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Man arrested after fatal apartment fire

Man arrested after fatal apartment fire in south Minneapolis

– The smell of charred wood still lingers in the air at 1500 Park Avenue in Minneapolis.

It’s all that remains of the apartment building where 59-year-old-Royce James lived. He died of injuries sustained by jumping from a third-story window during the fire, which authorities believe may have been set purposefully.

59-year-old Royce Wayne James (foreground in a gray shirt) died Friday evening after jumping from a third-story window to avoid an apartment fire. 

“It was three minutes of horrible,” said Jenna Harper, who lives nearby and jumped in to help residents of the building to safety Friday evening. “I’m literally sprinting around with the paramedics and firefighters. Just because you don’t have a degree in this or you weren’t trying to do it, doesn’t mean you can’t help people.”

Family members identified James and his girlfriend, Vicki Ness, who also jumped from the same window and was sent to the hospital with critical injuries. Several others were treated for smoke inhalation and 30 people who lived in the building remain uprooted due to the blaze.

Police arrested a man in connection with the incident Friday night, booking 30-year-old Marcus Dewayne Shanks into Hennepin County Jail on probable cause murder charges.

One firefighter received a minor injury while battling the blaze, but was able to return to putting out the fire.

According to officials, the fire was on the third floor of the apartment building. Firefighters rescued multiple people by ladder from windows and the fire escape. Eighteen of the 22 units in the building were occupied at the time.

This is the ninth fire fatality in Minneapolis so far this year.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire destroys apartments in North Providence

Published: Updated:


NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Multiple emergency vehicles rushed to the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence around 6:30 p.m.

North Providence Fire Chief Edward Digiulio said one of their first responders was returning from the hospital from a call when he heard the fire alarm going off in a nearby building.

Crews found smoke coming from multiple floors of the building when they arrived on scene.

Digiulio said the fire appears to have started on the second floor. Firefighters were able to have the flames under control in 20 minutes.

“People started coming out of the second floor fire escape, so we immediately assisted with the rescue of two people,” he said.

Fire officials also helped rescue two pets from the fire.

“It’s a second alarm so we have crews, all of our companies are here, we have help from Smithfield and Providence,” he said.

Digiulio said the apartments on the second and third floor are facing the most damage. The first floor is home to multiple businesses.

“It’s inhabitable right now,” he said. “The fire investigators will be investigating to see what the cause of the fire was.”

Fire officials say there were no injuries.