NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A fast-moving fire trapped three children inside a Bronx home on Monday morning. They had to be rescued by firefighters.
Police said the girls’ mother brought her 7-year-old son to the hospital for an unspecified injury and left the three girls, who range in age from 16 months to 6 years old, home alone. They were found on the second floor struggling to breathe, firefighters told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
As smoke poured out the two-story building on Burke Avenue in the Allerton section of the borough, neighbors could only watch as firefighters streamed in. In all, approximately 60 first responders answered the call.
“Windows blown out, fire coming out,” Miasotis Linares said.
Linares was the one who called 911 at around 9:30 a.m. She said her stomach turned when she realized there were kids inside.
“One of the firemen came out with a lifeless child, ran into the ambulance, put the child down and commenced CPR,” Linares said.
“Our members did do advanced life support. They did advanced cardiac life support,” Deputy Assistant Chief Paul Miano confirmed.
View this post on Instagram
“We had fire blowing out of every window on that second floor of the house. Ladder 32 got into the building, onto the second floor and started searching. #Engine62 immediately began stretching lines to start the suppression by getting water on the fire. The #Ladder32 inside team found three children in one of the bedrooms. They immediately removed them to the street and turned them over to members of #Engine79 who started CPR. They were then immediately turned over to members of our EMS bureau who then continued the efforts and transported them to Jacobi Hospital. All three children at this time are in critical but stable condition at the hospital. This was coordinated really well,” says FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante on scene of an all-hands fire in Bronx. #FDNY Captain Daniel McEnroe, Ladder 32, says, “My irons man Firefighter Matthew Boney forced the door. Heavy fire met us there. At that point my can man, Firefighter Mario DePalma, and I went down the hallway to the back. Firefighter Boney started to make the search from the door. Firefighter Boney and I met in the second bedroom where we saw the three kids on the bed. We called it in, and Firefighter Boney grabbed the two and went, and I grabbed the third and followed him out. There was a ton of fire, a ton of heat, and a lot of smoke. Everyone here did a great job. It makes me proud to be involved.” FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Paul Miano says, “We had EMS members from #Station20 #Station27 and our Special Operations Command who received the children after they were rescued from the building. Their efforts continued throughout their transport to the hospital in which they were able to resuscitate all three children. An incident like this just highlights the coordinated effort between the fire and EMS personnel. It also highlights the ability of the men and women of Emergency Medical Services and how the fight doesn’t just end in the building, it continues all the way to the hospital. Our members performed advanced cardiac life support. It’s always more difficult when it’s children, but they are professionals and they got to work.”
As EMS personnel assisted the child, onlookers realized she wasn’t alone.
“A few minutes later two more children came out. They ran these kids to the ambulance and they worked on these kids,” Linares said.
Ladder 32 Capt. Daniel McEnroe helped save the oldest of the three, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
“They were all on the bed. Right above them was a window. Firefighter Boney took the window. I pushed out the air conditioner. The room lit up a little bit where we could see. We saw the three kids. They looked like they were sleeping. You know, they were all huddled together. They looked like they were sleeping and then we just moved as fast as we can to get them out,” McEnroe said.
McEnroe is, himself, a father of three. Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante said things could have been much worse.
“This could’ve been a tragedy, a real bad tragedy, and we were able to get to those children this morning,” he said.
“Don’t leave your kids home by themselves. You never know what happens,” Linares said.
The children were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center in critical but stable condition and are expected to OK.
Per FDNY Fire Marshals: Cause of this morning’s all-hands fire at 783 Burke Ave. in the Bronx was accidental, electrical, building wiring. Smoke alarm present but not operational. pic.twitter.com/LRtjuh685i
— FDNY (@FDNY) September 28, 2020
Both parents were questioned by police. On Monday evening, 33-year-old mother was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. In addition, Administration for Children’s Services has launched an investigation.
Earlier, the FDNY announced the cause of the fire was ruled accidental by fire marshals, adding there was a smoke alarm inside, but it wasn’t operational.
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.