Good Samaritans save child being dangled from Bronx fire escape, mother and child stabbed

MELROSE, Bronx (WABC) — Good Samaritans came to the rescue of a mother and little girl who were stabbed, and the little girl dangled from the fire escape.

“What did your son see?” Eyewitness News Reporter Darla Miles asked.

“‘Mom,’ he ran in the house, ‘Mom, dad there’s some guy on the fire escape, trying to throw a little girl off the fire escape,” said Melissa Petters, an Eyewitness.

It was a third floor fire escape to be exact.

That’s where neighbors on Cauldwell Avenue in the South Bronx say they saw a 3-year-old girl and her 37-year-old mother begging for mercy.

“My husband and I ran out the door to see what was going on and you seen blood and everything everywhere,” Petters said.

“I seen him grabbed him grab the baby and hang the baby out the window and she started screaming, “Please, please!” a Good Samaritan said.

The Good Samaritan doesn’t want to be identified.

He and another neighbor ran upstairs and burst into the apartment to intervene, at first throwing vases and other household items at the suspect around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“I kicked the door open, I ran in and I went to the fire escape and I told him, ‘Let her go! Let her go!’ And luckily somebody else came through this side and grabbed the baby, some guys,
and they brought her down through the fire escape,” he said.

“The mother was stabbed in the abdomen, and the little girl on her arm,” Petters said.

The aftermath was caught on cell phone video. Witnesses say a group of men held the suspect down until police arrived.

The mother, despite her abdominal wound, remained alert, solely focused on her daughter.

“She was just telling me, ‘Melly I’m scared, my baby,’ and I said, ‘She’s right here, she’s fine, she’ll be safe,'” Petters said.”

Source: ABC7 New York, Darla Miles Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:51PM ©2017 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

7 On Your Side helps man whose satellite dish blocked fire escape

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 07:11PM
By Michael Finney

In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Horrific fires like the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland have focused attention on potential fire code violations. In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

You may not think a satellite TV dish could be a problem. But, it was blocking a fire escape at a seven story apartment building. Our viewer says he’s been worrying about it for years. He came to me for help.

“The dish itself blocked the fire escape,” Harry Campbell said.

It’s hard enough for Campbell to climb onto his fire escape.

“I’d open the window like this,” Campbell showed us.

He has to crawl out a little window. “These fire escapes are not for the faint of heart,” Imagine how much harder it would be if a big satellite TV dish was propped in the window. A dish actually was bolted onto the window sill in Campbell’s apartment. It extended out to the railing of the fire escape.

“Someone trying to get from there to here would have to go under the dish like this,” Campbell said.

It blocked what was already a daunting escape route, down steep stairs, traffic rushing below, and possibly a fire chasing you from behind.

“It was beyond scary. It’s been like having a powder keg outside your window.”

He says DirecTV installed the dish over his objections. That was 15 years ago.

“He said that was the best place for installation. He came in, assessed it, put it there and he was gone,” Campbell said.

Campbell says he kept asking DirecTV to move the dish onto the roof, but the company never responded. Luckily there was never a fire, but for years he worried.

“That sort of situation could lend itself to potentially tragic consequences,” Campbell said.

Finally this year a fire marshal ordered the dish removed, but DirecTV said harry would have to pay $50 to relocate it, or more if the move was complicated. Harry didn’t want to pay saying it was DirecTV’s fault for putting it there in the first place.

“And the light bulb went on and I said to myself I have to call 7 On Your Side,” Campbell said.

We contacted DirecTV, and its parent company AT&T responded, but would not say why DirecTV put the dish in the fire escape. “We were glad to resolve these issues and we apologize for any inconvenience,” AT&T told us.

DirecTV did move the dish up to the roof at no charge to Harry.

“Seven On Your Side, I praise you. You are the bomb.”

Harry says he hopes he never needs to use the fire escape, but he’ll be able to climb out a little faster now. He can also see the skyline outside that window for the first time in 15 years.

Source: Copyright ©2017 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

2 kids rescued from fire escape at 2-alarm Providence fire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Several children were rescued from a two-alarm house fire Sunday morning in Providence.

According to firefighters, the fire was reported at about 10:20 a.m. at a three-story building at 8 Denison St. When firefighters arrived they immediately saw two children on the fire escape on the second floor and went to work getting them down.

The two children rescued from the fire escape and four other children who lived in the building were taken to Hasbro hospital as a precaution, fire officials said. One firefighter suffered a hand injury and was also taken to the hospital.

The fire appears to have started in and been mostly contained to the basement, but the cause hasn’t yet been determined.

Five adults lived in the home, three on the first floor and two on the second, but none of them were hurt. Two dogs were removed from the building; firefighters said both were expected to survive although one required oxygen at the scene.

While crews were wrapping up, another fire was reported at 18 Barrows Street. Fire officials said that was a porch fire that was quickly extinguished.

Source: WPRI 12 News

A Look At Oakland’s Warehouse Fire, Fire Escapes Would Have Made The Difference…

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on charges in the Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people in December (all times local):

5 p.m.

The lead attorney representing relatives of half of people who died in a massive warehouse fire says the families are pleased with criminal charges filed against the men who authorities say turned the building into an illegal artists’ collective.

Attorney Mary Alexander said, however, she’s disappointed the owner of the building hasn’t been charged. Alexander said she believes the owner is just as responsible as the two men arrested on charges of illegally converting the warehouse to house upward of two dozen people.

Derick Almena and Max Harris were charged Monday with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of three dozen people who died in the Dec. 2 fire in Oakland.

Alameda County prosecutors declined to discuss whether more people would be charged, but they did say their investigation was closed.

Alexander and several other attorneys represent the families of 18 victims who are suing Almena, Harris, the building’s owner and others for wrongful death.


2:40 p.m.

Attorneys for a man who ran the Ghost Ship warehouse, where 36 people died in a massive fire, say their client is being made a scapegoat as prosecutors blame him for the deaths in Oakland.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced Monday that warehouse operator Derick Almena had been charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors say he rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse and “knowingly created a firetrap” with no way to escape.

Almena’s attorneys said in a statement that the charges “represent no less than a miscarriage of justice.”

Max Harris, who also lived at the Ghost Ship and is accused of organizing a dance party on the night of the fire, faces the same charges.

Each defendant could face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.


1:25 p.m.

The Alameda County district attorney says she has filed 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter against two men in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed three dozen people in December in Oakland, California.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced the charges on Monday against Derick Almena, saying he rented out space in the illegally converted warehouse, and Max Harris, who is accused of planning an unpermitted party.

Both men were arrested earlier Monday.

Prosecutors say so much evidence was destroyed in the blaze that a specific cause of the fire will likely never be known.

O’Malley says the organizers were reckless and “knowingly created a firetrap with inadequate means of escape.” She says one way out of the building was blocked.

O’Malley says each defendant could face up to 39 years in prison if convicted.


10:40 a.m.:

A source close to the investigation tells The Associated Press that two men have been arrested and will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 partygoers in Oakland.

The Alameda County district attorney says she will formally announce charges later Monday.

The person says Derick Almena and Max Harris will each be charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The source was not authorized to publicly discuss the charges and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities say Almena leased the warehouse and illegally sublet space for artists to live and work. He also held for-profit concerts at the warehouse, which authorities say was not licensed for entertainment.

Harris lived at the Ghost Ship and is accused of helping plan the December concert where the fire broke out.

“If the Oakland Building would’ve been equipped with exterior Fire Escapes, countless of lives would have been saved that day” – Fire Protection Engineer Gabriel Cabrera with the City of Dallas, who has been keeping a close eye on the aftermath of this tragedy mentions as he is made aware of the legal proceedings made by Alameda County officials.

Source: AP News

Residents flee down fire escapes as fire tears through Brooklyn building

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) — A third-alarm fire tore through a row of apartments on the side of a four-story building in Brooklyn.

According to fire marshals, the fire at 832 Linden Blvd., in Brooklyn on Tuesday was accidental, sparked by an electrical strip. Smoke alarms were not operational.

The flames broke out at Linden Boulevard and East 53rd Street in East Flatbush around 4:30 p.m.

Flames were shooting out the top of the structure, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the sky.

Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control, but residents could be seen from climbing down fire escapes to the street below.

All residents were evacuated safely, and no injuries were reported.

About 30 residents were left homeless. The rest of the building was reoccupied.

Fire escape worries prompt inspection requirement

Fire escape worries prompt inspection requirement

Sharon Coolidge , 6:12 p.m. EDT October 18, 2016


(Photo: Patrick Reddy/The Enquirer)

If you live in an old building with a fire escape, city officials have this warning for you: Be careful.

They’re simply not safe. In fact, city firefighters only use them as a last resort.

As a result, Cincinnati City Council is poised to require all fire escapes be inspected every five years. Under the plan, fire escapes on the oldest buildings would need to be inspected by next summer.

“They’re out of sight and out of mind, so you don’t think about it until you need it,” said Councilman Kevin Flynn. “And then it’s too late.”

Council is set to vote on the program Wednesday. The law passed out Council’s Neighborhoods Committee Monday with a 4-0 vote.

“The aging fire escape inventory in Cincinnati is showing signs of significant distress and deterioration,” Art Dahlberg, the city’s director of buildings and inspections wrote in a memo which was provided to The Enquirer. “A program of routine and systemic inspection .. is necessary to protect public safety.”

City officials said there are 5,500 fire escapes in the city.  The only inspections in the past have come when building owners have voluntarily hired someone to check.

It’s tough to argue against safety measures, but not everyone is happy with the change. Building owners must seek out and pay for their own inspections.

It’s not clear how much such inspections might cost – or even if there are any local companies to perform them.The city is requiring a licensed engineer inspect the fire escapes.

During a committee meeting Monday Councilman Chris Seelbach questioned the rush to new regulations, arguing buildings owners needed to time to get and pay for the inspections.

Property owner Ben Novak owns over 100 rental units in Clifton and East Walnut Hills, some with fire escapes.

“This is something that should probably be done, but where the problems are is details have not been discussed or put out there to the public,” Novak said. “I question requiring building owners to pay for inspections because we’re already paying taxes.”

Cincinnati Fire Union President Matt Alter said without proper maintenance and inspection, fire escapes are dangerous.

fire escape snapped

Jersey City apartment complex where fire escape snapped cited for safety violations

Amanda Eisenberg | The Jersey JournalBy Amanda Eisenberg | The Jersey Journal 
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on July 06, 2015 at 6:28 PM, updated July 07, 2015 at 7:00 AM
JERSEY CITY — Jersey City Fire Department officials found 48 violations at a multiplex apartment after the steps of the building’s fire escape snapped while residents were fleeing a fire there last month.

The four-story building, located at 500 Garfield Ave., is tucked away between Garfield Avenue and Bayside Terrace, but leaves “a lot to be desired,” said Charles Green, one longtime resident.

Green has lived in the building for 37 years and has seen rent increases for upgrades that he said the tenants don’t actually have.

“We paid for the intercoms and a security camera,” Green said. “The tenants paid for it but management doesn’t acknowledge any responsibility.”

While the intercom is still attached to the entrance of the building, it no longer works. According to Jersey City’s Division of Housing Code Enforcement, an inspector reported that there was no response to the bells back in December 2013.

Green said he and other residents have gotten into the habit of throwing their keys from a window down to visitors.

Other residents have reported problems with security. Management reportedly told Green and others that the lack of a working security camera is a police problem, not their problem.

The Jersey Journal reached out to River Edge Management, which owns and operates the complex, for comment via email and did not receive any statement regarding the violations. A message left on the company’s voicemail answering service was also not returned.

Green said the building has not had a superintendent in the last seven or eight years, so any repairs or problems are reported to an answering machine or email address that the management team set up. Green said that management will send over repairmen without warning the tenants.

Severo K. Gerena, a resident who was scraped up during the collapse of the fire escape stairs, said that management is slow to fix things until it is required.

Management replaced the fire escape shortly after the June 15 fire, but Gerena said the new hardware was put on the old rusted main beams.

“That’s all going to collapse if there’s another fire,” he said. “If that occurs, someone is going to die.”

After filing an Open Public Records Act request with Jersey City, The Jersey Journal found that the fire department cited management after the fire for 17 counts of safety hazards that needed to be abated by June 16. The other 31 violations need to be addressed by July 16.

The building and its revolving management has a history of failing inspections, the last which took place in 2012 prior to the fire, according to Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill.

In 2008, there were 22 violations under Garfield Realty, L.L.C., 12 violations in 2011 under Hudson Property Management, and 48 violations under River Edge Management this year.

Keeping a Fire Escape Clear


CreditMichael Kolomatsky/The New York Times 

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Air-Conditioner in the Way?

I live in a co-op building and have an air-conditioner in my living room window, which is one of two windows that look out onto the fire escape. The air-conditioner does not block access to the fire escape. However, my building manager says city rules prohibit an air-conditioner in a fire escape window. But the Bureau of Fire Prevention told me that I could have one in that window as long as it does not extend out onto the fire escape. Who is correct?

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and many New Yorkers will likely spend part of it hoisting unwieldy air-conditioners into their apartment windows. I imagine some of them are eyeing their fire escape windows as a prime location for such an installation. But they should pause, as a fire escape is not an unofficial balcony to be adorned with potted plants or blocked by an air-conditioner. A fire escape is what its name suggests: an escape route for people fleeing or fighting a fire. And it should be free of obstructions. “There should be a focus on safety, fire safety to be specific,” said Joel E. Abramson, a Manhattan real estate lawyer.

The arrangement you described might be permitted by city rules. In general, residents are prohibited from installing air-conditioners in fire escape windows. But they can install one in a fire escape window if the apartment has a second window onto the fire escape that is large enough to be used as an emergency exit. Keep in mind that the alternate window must be large and easily accessible. (A small bathroom window, for example, would not suffice.) The air-conditioner should not extend more than five inches onto the fire escape balcony or obstruct the flow of foot traffic, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. So if the unit you installed blocks the fire escape in any way, it should go. And even if it doesn’t, you still might want to consider a safer alternative.

City Council To Consider Mandatory Fire Escape Inspections

City Council To Consider Mandatory Fire Escape Inspections Following Deadly Collapse Last Year
(Credit: Justin Udo)

(Credit: Justin Udo)

Mike DunnMike Dunn

Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers…

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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A deadly fire escape collapse in Center City 18 months ago has prompted a proposal in City Council to require building owners to have their fire escapes inspected every five years.

Councilman Curtis Jones says many fire escapes in Philadelphia are aging, few have ever been inspected, and some are used by tenants for smoking and carousing:

“What we find them to be morphed into are smoking lounges and party locations. And we need to make sure that they are fit for first responders and residents, to be able to navigate in the case of emergencies.”

Jones has now introduced a sweeping overhaul of the city’s slim fire escape regulations. Under his plan, building owners would have to pay for safety inspections of the structures every five years. Then the city would install medallions on the escapes that pass inspections to mark them as safe.

“They certify it. They stamp it. We put the medallion on it. And then when a fire truck comes up, and a first responder has to look up, they can look for the reflector in the day or night, and be assured that ‘I can put myself on that.’”

Under the measure, a building owner who learns that his fire escape failed an inspection would have one day to take corrective action.

The proposal was prompted by the January 2014 collapse of a fire escape at 21st and Locust Streets in Center City. One person died and two others were injured.

Jones’ measure will be debated in committee after Council’s summer recess.