Four FDNY FFs, 17 Civilians Hurt in High-Rise Fire

Firehouse.com - December 24, 2016

by Firehouse.com

A candle sparked a Manhattan high-rise fire that hurt four firefighters and 17 civilians Thursday night. A 7-year-old girl was rescued from the fire in cardiac arrest, but was revived at the scene.

According to the television station NBC4 New York, one of the firefighters suffered serious burns fighting the fire that started in a third-floor apartment in the 33-story building at 515 West 59th Street. Fire marshals said the fire was caused by accident due to “careless use” of a candle.

Although the fire was contained in the third floor apartment, high winds, blowing in from the open windows drove heavy smoke into the hallways throughout the building, according to the television station. The building is owned by Mount Sinai Hospital and has 465 apartments, many occupied by hospital staff.

The young girl in cardiac arrest was found on the 21st floor and was given CPR by residents of the building before firefighters rescued her and transported her to the hospital for treatment, according to the television station.

Nine residents went to the roof of the building to escape the fire and waited out the fire. A police helicopter watched over them until they were removed from the building.

Of the civilians hurt, six of them were listed in serious condition.

FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard took the opportunity to remind residents of fireproof high-rise building that, unless the fire is in their own apartment, it is usually best to stay in their units and cover the doors with towels and stay on the phone with 911. If people leave their apartments, he reminded them of the importance of shutting doors behind themselves.