Two devastating fires leave one dead and 22 FDNY firefighters injured

A 74-year-old man died and 22 firefighters were injured, three of them seriously, in two residential fires registered yesterday in Queens and Staten Island

Two residential fires in New York City yesterday left one elderly man dead in Queens and 22 FDNY firefighters injured, three critically, on Staten Island.

A 74-year-old man died in a fire that started shortly after 3 a.m. at a residence located at 149th Street near 18th Avenue in the Whitestone neighborhood.

Firefighters said there was a lot of clutter inside the residence. The unidentified elderly man was rushed to New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he died of smoke inhalation. ABC News said that the cause of the fire is under investigation, although it is not considered suspicious.

Firefighters were injured in another fire that started at a two-family home on Shotwell Avenue in Arden Heights around 1:30 p.m. Friday and quickly spread.

Brian Gorman, FDNY chief, confirmed that part of the house collapsed, but firefighters “were not trapped for that reason, but because of “the intense fire.”

“I can’t emphasize enough that this was a very close call for the FDNY. We could have lost three members today,” commented FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.

At least 19 firefighters suffered minor injuries, but three were hospitalized in serious condition. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Red Cross is assisting residents, CBS News noted.

An FDNY lieutenant was rescued from the second floor after he transmitted an emergency signal while searching for occupants in one of the homes. An operator involved in the rescue was struck in the head by falling plaster, which knocked off his mask and forced him to breathe dense smoke, said department chief John Hodgens. Another firefighter jumped from a second-floor balcony after being caught in the fire, Fox News summarized.