The basement of a residential building in Borough Park caught fire on Thursday, June 1 at 2:20am, leaving three people (two children) trapped, until two Probationary Firefighters went in and saved them.
According to the FDNY, the fire was on the right side of the building and neighbors were screaming that there were two boys (ages six and two) inside with their mom.
One rookie firefighter, Dominic DiBiase, controlled the fire and heavy smoke with a portable fire extinguisher, while the captain of Ladder Company 149 (L-149), Captain Kane, went inside the building. Alongside Kane was the second rookie firefighter, Christopher Rossi.
According to Kane, there was an unconscious baby and an adult in the room. To get them out safely, he instructed the firefighters to cut the window bars off.
“The units operated as a team and the operation went very fast – everyone was in the right position,” said Battalion Chief James Brennan, “and they took all the correct actions, given that it was a highly emotionally charged situation. All the residents and neighbors were screaming but the team kept their cool.”
The firemen then moved to another room where they found the second unconscious baby under the bed. The baby was taken to the hospital for urgent care.
“I referred back to my training and searched the bed for additional patients,” DiBiase said. “Training day after day at the academy was drilled into our heads so it was natural for me.”
Both rookie firefighters graduated from the FDNY Training Academy in April.
“It feels great to see that our training out of Probie School worked,” Rossi said. “It’s a great thing to help and save people.”
“The members did a great job – this is what we do at the firehouse and at the academy,” Kane said. “It was exactly how we planned it and it went exactly how I would have liked it to gone. I have 21 years on the job and I continue to train.”