FDNY propels down burning Park Slope building, rescues trapped man

The fire engulfed the fourth-floor of the Park Slope building.
The fire engulfed the fourth-floor of the Park Slope building.
Photo via Citizen

Firefighters propelled down the side of a burning Park Slope building to save a man trapped on the fourth-floor during a dramatic Tuesday morning rescue. 

According to authorities, the blaze broke out at 439 16th St., just near the intersection of Prospect Park West at around 6:22 a.m. 

When FDNY personnel arrived on the scene, they found heavy smoke emanating from an apartment in the back of the fourth floor. 

Smoke eaters made their way to the roof of the burning building, when they spotted the man on a ledge outside, four stories above the ground. 

“He had no way out of the building. The fire had cut off his access to the street,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant John Sarrocco. 

First responders then conducted a “roof-rope” rescue, where a firefighter propelled down from the roof of the building, grabbing hold of the man, and then lowering himself and the victim to safety on the ground.  

“My training kicked in. I tied myself off, and [my partner] lowered me,” said Firefighter Patrick Gale. “I assured the victim that we were coming to get him, and he was going to be alright.” 

“I was just doing my job.”

The victim, described as a male in his 20s, suffered only minor wounds, and was treated by EMS on the scene. 

No other victims were reported hurt during the incident. 

Fire Marshals are still determining the cause of the blaze, which broke out in the apartment’s kitchen. 

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