Garbage jump! Trash heap saves East Flatbush fire victim

Garbage jump: An elderly woman survived a fire in her East Flatbush building by leaping from the third story into a pile of garbage.
Photo by Paul Martinka

Turns out one person’s trash in another person’s life saver.

A desperate, 51-year-old East Flatbush woman leapt from the third floor of her burning Clarendon Road apartment building on Jan. 7 — landed in a heap of trash bags under her window, neighbors and Fire Department authorities say.

“We found her around the side of the building in the pile of garbage. What she fell in appears to have broken her fall,” an FDNY spokesman reported.

The fall very well could have broken her, had the bags not been there, since the alleyway is paved in concrete. Authorities said that an ambulance brought her to Kings County Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Smoke-eaters rescued four other residents from the building at the corner of E. 35th Street, where the fire appears to have broken out shortly before 3:30 pm. Two of the victims went to Kings County in critical condition, while the other two were suffering from smoke inhalation.

The Bravest subdued the blaze within 45 minutes. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at

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