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2 Firefighters Escape Close Call in Belle Harbor - MYFOXNY.COM

Two of New York City’s finest escaped from being trapped in a burning building along with residents in Belle Harbor, Queens.

According to the FDNY, the fire started in the basement of the three-story building on the top floors. Many residents lost everything they owned as firefighters worked to get this fire out. Two of the firefighters had to scramble to save their own lives.

“I lost everything, a new recliner and new clothes," said one resident who escaped the blaze. The fire was unforgiving and left residents with nothing.

"They knocked on the door and told me to leave and I came downstairs,” said Daniel Dowd lives in an apartment on the top floor. On his way out, Dowd only had time to grab his cat. Lou Romas, a friend of Dowd’s, gave him the clothes he has on now. 

“All he had was his shirt and pants on and all she has is pajamas,” said Romas. “My girlfriend packed clothes for him."

The flames spread up the walls inside the burning building and two firefighters, who were looking for possible victims, became trapped.

"While we were conducting operations, there was a partial collapse on a first floor and he gave a may-day. He was quickly recovered by the members’ right there," said the fire chief at the scene.

The second firefighter used a service rope and repelled out of a window.

"Fire is a dangerous thing,” said the chief. “You never know when a fire is going to flash forward."

The local Red Cross arrived to offer aid. 

"This is a friend, people who need help,” said Lomas. “I know how they must feel. They're good friends of mine, so you have to help out."

The fire is still under investigation. According to the FDNY fire started in the boiler room and is does not seem to be suspicious.

2 FDNY firefighters trapped by flames, but escape from Queens blaze
BY Bob Kappstatter

Two firefighters battling a three-alarm Queens blaze made Mayday radio signals Saturday after the floor collapsed on one and the other needed to use an escape rope, officials said.

Fire Lt. Richard Barnes fell through the second floor of a three-story Rockaways building, but managed to hang on by his armpits until firefighters could pull the 22-year veteran to safety, officials said.

Meanwhile, Firefighter Evan Davis called in a distress signal when he was trapped by flames in another part of the building's second floor, officials said.

The eight-year veteran then used his personal escape rope to lower himself out a window, unaware there was an adjacent roof less than 10 feet below.

"He couldn't see his hand in front of his face from the smoke," said 13th Division Deputy Chief James DiDomenico.

The safety rope devices, which include a hook, were issued to firefighters after two Bronx Bravest were killed in January 2005 when flames forced them to leap 50 feet from a burning building.

Both firefighters in yesterday's blaze were treated for minor bruises at Peninsula General Hospital and were in stable condition.

A dozen of the 138 firefighters who responded to the fire suffered minor injuries.

DiDomenico said the fire started about 10 a.m. near an oil burner in the basement of the building.

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