Fire In The News
Firefighter Falls 3 Stories After Wall Collapses
A New York City firefighter was seriously injured after a wall collapsed on him as he battled a blaze in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Seven civilians and three other firefighters were also injured in the fire.

The fire gutted a store in the Gravesend section of the borough and a portion of apartments above after it broke out around 11 a.m. at 222 Kings Highway. The blaze was just about out and firefighters were almost finished mopping up when one of them was seriously injured.

All of a sudden I hear a guy yell out, 'Fireman down, fireman down,'" said Joseph Giancola, a witness.

The firefighter was on the third floor in the back of the building, when the back wall suddenly collapsed causing the firefighter to fall three stories.

"We had a firefighter who actually went out a third floor window and rode the collapse down to the basement level," said FDNY Chief James Leonard.

"The stuff did land on him. The bricks and the mortar landed all on him," said Giancola.

After other firefighters rushed to help him, the firefighter was taken to taken to Kings County Hospital where he remains in stable condition.

"He's being examined. He's conscience right now talking to everybody," said Asst. Chief Edward Kilduff.

Seven civilians and three other firefighters suffered minor injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Fire ripped through two wood-frame buildings in The Bronx yesterday, leaving several families without a home - including a woman who had gone to Washington to attend the inauguration of President Obama. The five-alarm blaze broke out at 9:45 a.m. at 927 E. 213th St. in Williamsbridge and spread to an adjacent, three-story wood frame building, fire officials said. Flames and smoke billowed 25 feet, and it took 237 firefighters two hours to bring the blaze under control, said Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Saccente. No residents from the two gutted buildings were injured, but 20 firefighters suffered minor injuries, Saccente said. One firefighter was taken to the Cornell-Weill burn unit with non-life-threatening injuries, a Fire Department spokesman said. Francis Jackson, who lives on the second floor at 927 with his girlfriend and his mother, said he woke up when he heard what sounded like rain but was "really the crackling of the fire." "I opened the door and I saw fire," said Jackson, 30, who fled out the front door with his girlfriend. He said his mom, Joyce Wilson, who lives with them, had driven to Washington Friday for the inauguration even though she had no invitation to any event. "She was so amped and ecstatic about the whole thing," he said of his 55-year-old mom, who is retired and on disability but still wanted to be in the nation's capital for the historic swearing-in. "On a joyous day, she has no idea that she lost everything." Jackson, who is soon to graduate from the Culinary Institute and hopes to begin a career of catering or food preparation, said he was grateful his mother was far from danger when the blaze broke out. "I was trying to be bright and told my friends that Obama is already saving lives because she wasn't here," he said. He called his mother and told her to come home - but not why. "She's driving back in the car by herself. I didn't want to scare her," Jackson said. "She's going to faint when she finds out." Jackson's girlfriend, who identified herself only as Tina, said her pet iguana had perished and her three cats were missing. "I'm really depressed. My cats are gone. The other stuff can be replaced," she said, looking at some of her burned possessions strewn on the sidewalk. The cause of the blaze was under investigation, fire officials said. Daniel Festa, of the Red Cross disaster-response team, said the agency was taking six families to hotels last night. People who lived on the block said they were stunned by the extent of the fire. "I feel bad for the people who lived there," said Brooke Jordan, 21. "All their memories are gone."
Five-Alarm Bronx Blaze Injures 20 Firefighters