Sheepshead Bay smoke eaters were honored as heroes after they pulled a couple from a Brighton Beach blaze Monday night.
Officials said that members of Engine Company 246 and Ladder Company 169 successfully rescued the couple as they doused down the couple’s Brighton 3rd Street apartment building.
Investigators determined that the lit cigarette caused the nighttime blaze.
Speaking from their headquarters on East 11th Street, Firefighter Joseph Roggenkamp explained that when they forced open the door to the sixth floor apartment, the male victim was unconscious on the floor, acting as a doorstop.
“I noticed that the door was not opening all the way,” Roggenkamp said. “When I reached in through the smoke, I found the victim lying on the other side of the door.
Roggenkamp wedged himself through the little space that he had to pull the victim away from the door.
His team then handed the victim off to EMS and continued fighting the fire.
Once inside, Roggenkamp said he could see that the blaze had already consumed one back room and was in the process of eating its way through another.
As Firefighter Daniel Saalfrank beat back the flames with an extinguisher, Captain Bill Gallagher heard a moaning sound from one of the bedrooms.
He went in and found the second victim lying on her bed, overcome by smoke.
FDNY officials said that both residents were rushed to Staten Island University Hospital in stable condition.
Investigators determined that one of the victims – possibly the male victim – had fallen asleep while smoking in the back room.
The errant cigarette lit up the couch the victim was sitting on.
©2009 Community News Group
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