Family of four rescued from East New York apartment fire

Firefighter Dan Quinn of Ladder 120 carried out one of four people from an apartment fire at 180 Wortman Ave.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A woman and her three children were rescued from their burning Brooklyn apartment over the weekend.

The fire broke out shortly after 3:30 pm on Saturday, July 25 at 180 Wortman Ave., a NYCHA development. When firefighters arrived, they observed smoke coming from various floors of the building and a child with her head hanging out of the open window of her eighth floor bedroom.

Firefighters were able to break down the door to the eighth floor unit and rescue the girl and three other family members.

The victims were taken to Brookdale University Medical Center after suffering serious smoke inhalation, said Deputy Chief Michael Grogan. Their conditions as of Monday morning are not immediately known.

Firefighters were praised for the dramatic rescues, including Lt. George Mueller, a 13-year veteran of the department from Ladder 107 who pulled two of the children to safety. Firefighters Khalid Lewis and Khalid Lee of Ladder 120 were also lauded for rescues.

The lieutenant said the blaze was so bad, there was “zero visibility” inside the apartment.

One adult is taken into an ambulance after being rescued from a burning East New York apartment.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

“Everyone did a great job forcing the door, making searches, and putting the fire out,” Mueller said in a statement posted to the FDNY’s Twitter account.

It took firefighters less than an hour to extinguish the fire, but the rescues all happened in those crucial few minutes.

“We worked as a team to find the fire and individuals,” said Lee, 28. “It was a very high heat situation and we relied on our training in order to remove everyone from the fire. It was a collective effort.”

Unfortunately, a cat and a dog could not be saved from the fire, which remains under investigation by fire marshals.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.