Twenty-two people were injured, four critically, after the powerful blast and fire sent flames soaring and debris flying Thursday afternoon. Six members of the FDNY were hurt in the operation.
Ambulance response time to life-threatening situations increased last month in New York City to an average of 11 minutes and seven seconds.
The dead are children ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old, and they are believed to be family members, New York Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said.
The four-alarm blaze broke out around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday on 90th Street near 91st Avenue in Woodhaven and quickly spread.
The new firefighters went through 18 weeks of training in fire suppression, medical responses, hazardous material handling and other subjects.
The spike in calls was driven by more people reporting possible gas leaks in the wake of March’s building explosion in East Harlem, Fire Commissioner Nigro said.
On the steps of City Hall just before a New York City Council hearing on the issue, Elizabeth Holtzman, former congresswoman and Brooklyn district attorney, said the department has made little progress over the past few decades.
The families of New York-area first responders killed in the line of duty were honored at a Thanksgiving breakfast.
Investigators are looking into the collapse of a World Trade Center scaffold that left two window washers dangling 68 stories above the street.
3 Retired Firefighters Die On Same Day From 9/11-Related Illnesses; Union Leaders Seek Renewal Of Zadroga Act
Lt. Howard Bischoff and firefighters Robert Leaver and Daniel Heglund all died Monday.
A spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said Monday the manner of Lt. Gordon “Matt” Ambelas’ death still is under investigation.
Lt. Gordon Ambelas died after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, officials said.
He pledged to diversify what he called the “greatest fire department in the world.”
The outgoing FDNY boss’ last official event, a promotions ceremony, will be held Thursday. He is being replaced by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pick to lead the department, retired FDNY Chief Daniel Nigro.
Accusations of major delays in the city’s 911 emergency response system was the subject of a rally and two City Council hearings on Friday.