Firefighters Were Hampered By Items Collected By Hoarder

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three firefighters and two others were injured Saturday morning in a fire at the home of a hoarder on Central Park South.

The fire broke out Saturday morning in an apartment at 230 Central Park South, or 59th Street, fire officials said. Firefighters brought the blaze under control at 8:16 a.m.

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One person was taken from the scene to Weill Cornell Medical Center in fair to serious condition, with burns to the face, arms and legs, fire officials said. Another was taken to the same hospital in good conditions with minor injuries.

Three firefighters were also hospitalized in good condition, officials said.

In battling the blaze, firefighters were hampered by “Collyer Mansion conditions,” in that hoarders occupied the apartment and had filled it with items.

The term refers to wealthy brothers Homer and Langley Collyer, who lived together in a Harlem mansion surrounded by items they had collected obsessively. Ultimately, Langley Collyer was killed by a booby trap in the house, while Homer Collyer starved to death, in 1947.

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Fire officials told the New York Post the residents of the 14th-floor studio apartment were using candles carelessly. The civilian fire victims were identified as a 72-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, according to the Post, which said they were the residents of the apartment where the fire broke out.

The FDNY told 1010 WINS there was a delay of about five minutes in getting water to the fire.

Fire officials told the newspaper the response was delayed because the fire hydrant nearest the 18-story building was not working, and firefighters had to use another hydrant down the block.

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