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Fire Safety Precautions Urged After Teen, Small Boy Are Rescued From Queens Roof

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teenage girl and a little boy were rescued from the roof of a burning home in Rosedale, Queens this past weekend.

And as CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported Monday, experts have advised all families to prepare an escape plan, with wintertime being the prime time for fires.

Charred debris and boarded up windows remained after the fierce fire in the home at 253-8 Francis Lewis Blvd. in Queens. The fire broke out early this past Saturday evening.

“We just saw, like, these huge flames,” one neighbor said.

As the blaze roared, a 16-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy identified in published reports as Delissa and Demetrius Jones escaped to the porch roof. They were rescued by firefighters.

“We had heavy fire on arrival,” an FDNY deputy chief said. “We had two civilians that were rescued from the front porch roof.”

The FDNY said winter season is fire season, with more than 33 percent of home fires occurring in December, January and February. So what do you do if your house goes up in flames?

“I would grab the kids and go out,” said Josephine Tranquille of Laurelton, Queens.

“Get low. Get to the exits. Know where the exits are at. Touch the door knobs before to make sure they’re not hot,” added Onika Adams, also of Laurelton.

Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Bullock is now president of the New York Fire Safety Institute. He said if you’re in a house and there’s smoke – get low and find a way out. That applies even if you end up on a roof.

“More people die from smoke inhalation than from the actual fire, so the idea is to get to a safe area when you are in a combustible building,” Bullock said.

The FDNY ruled the Queens fire this weekend an accident, stemming from the basement electrical service panel.

But the department said most fires this time of year are caused by home heating equipment – including space heaters and fireplaces — and advised making sure they’re off and burned out before going to sleep.

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