Sanitation Workers Save 5 Children, Mother From Burning Home In Queens

Thankful Neighbor: 'If It Wasn't For Them, They Would Have Died'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A family leaps from their burning home — into the arms of two New York City Sanitation Department workers who just happened to see the flames.

CBS 2’s John Slattery has the heroic tale from Far Rockaway, Queens.

Joe Maneggio and Semi Nkozi began their work day saving the lives of a whole family.

“If you saw it happen, you would have done the same thing, I’m sure,” Maneggio said.

1010 WINS Reporter Sonia Rincon was on McBride Street…

It was 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, where neighbors on McBride Street saw a home blazing in flames.

“The Flames so big, I could see from back of my house,” neighbor Teela Meadows said.

One of those inside the house was Octavia Shoffner.

“There was fire, ran, opened window, started picking my little cousins out. Sanitation man helped us off the roof,” victim Octavia Shoffner said.

The two sanitation workers had spotted the fire, called 911, and ran to the house where children were out on the lower roof.

“The roof underneath them was hot. Flames right underneath them. I saw flames in the window. We yelled jump, jump into my arms. I grabbed and they came down one after the other,” Maneggio said.

Inside, two women and four children, ages 9, 12, 13 and 17.

“They were like helping, telling them to jump, so they could catch them. Everyone kept jumping, kid after kid,” Meadows said.

From family and neighbors comes praise for the two men in green.

“They did a good job. ‘Cause if it weren’t for them, they would have died,” Meadows said.

It was a fire that was raging so badly, there was no way out, but to jump into the arms of those who wanted to help.

The four children were treated for burns. Their 36-year-old mother suffered back and foot injuries from the fall.

  • ASanManswife

    I’ll ditto Jeanne

    New York’s STRONGEST & BRAVEST!!!! Your hard work everyday seems to always go unnoticed. Bravo to you both!!!
    You gave one family a true Christmas miracle!!!

  • Gloria

    Joey, the whole Maneggio clan is proud of you and your partner.

  • Keystone Kop

    This is unacceptable. ONLY cops and firefighters carry the legal designation of “Hero” (thanks to George Bush), so ONLY cops and firefighters are legally permitted to rescue people. I expect heavy fines and/or jail time to be imposed on the sanitation workers and the family they rescued.

    • Donato Roca

      Keystone your a jerk off, how about that. You dont have to be a hero to save someone.

  • Joey

    Way To Go, Boys!!!!! Q6 sends their regards, and respect to fellow San Men!!

  • Very conservative

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • jesse

    way to go Q14 , good job !!! from us at Q1

  • Jeanne

    Ahhhhhhhh……….NY’s strongest and bravest.

    Merry Christmas gentlemen…… have earned your spot in Heaven

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