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Articles Posted in Explosion and Fire Accidents

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An 88-year-old woman died and her husband were critically injured in a fire that erupted in their apartment in Harlem.  Firefighters rushed to a fire alert at their apartment located at 70 LaSalle Street near Amsterdam Avenue in Morningside Heights, NYC. They found the couple inside and rushed them to the hospital. Unfortunately the wife didn’t survive. The husband is still in critical condition. The couple’s apartment was located at the 15th floor of the building. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Read more in the NY Daily News

In New York City, seniors have a higher risk of dying in home fires than the rest of the population. According to statistics from the New York City Fire Department , smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in the homes of adults who are 65-years-old and older. Heating equipment is the second cause of  fatal fires at seniors apartments followed by cooking equipment and electrical.

Leading Causes of fire Death for elderly in NYC
Elderly people who are smoking have a much higher risk to be the victim of a residential fire than those who are not smoking. The FDNY recommends elderly people who are smoking:

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A woman died from burn injuries in her New York apartment. The 34-year-old woman was cooking in her kitchen yesterday afternoon around 3:00 pm when  her clothes caught fire.  According to the police she first ran around the apartment and then went to the bathroom where she died.  Her chest was covered with burns.  Cooking fires are unfortunately among the most common residential fires. The majority of kitchen fires occurred when the equipment is left unattended. It is not very common that person’s clothing catch fire while cooking. According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association in less than 1% of the cooking fires, clothing items were the ones ignited first. However these types of fires are some of the deadliest and account for 18% of  deaths related to kitchen fires.

Fire statistics from NFPA

 

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Tweet from the FDNY reporting the NYC fire accident5 young people died in a house fire in New York City Sunday afternoon.  2 year old Chayce Lipford, 10 year old Rashawn Matthews, 16 year old Jada Foxworth, 17 year old Melody Edwards and 20 year old Destiny Dones  all died in a fire that broke out in a house located on 208th Street in Queens village, Sunday afternoon around 2:30 pm.  911 received a call at 2:36 from someone who was driving in front of the house and saw flames coming out of the 1st floor window. The firefighters only took 4 minutes  to arrive but by that time the house was already completely consumed by fire. The only survivor is 46 year old Maurice Matthews, father of Rashawn Matthews. He jumped from a second floor window.  According to CBS New York, the victims may have been trapped in the attic of the house. The house had no working smoke detectors.  The investigation about the exact cause of the accident is still ongoing.

fdny education teamFollowing the tragic accident, the FDNY fire Safety Education Unit  founded by the FDNY Foundation and the New York Red cross set up a stand in Queens Village to teach community residents about the importance of having smoke detectors in their house. They also installed smoke detectors in houses that didn’t have any.

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firefighter who diedA FDNY firefighter fell to his death Thursday afternoon as he was fighting a fire in a NYC apartment. 42 year old, William Tolley was responding to a two-alarm apartment fire on the third floor of  a building located on Putnam Ave in Ridgewood, Queens.  The fatal accident happened when the fire was almost extinguished. Tolley had just finished executing a routine operation on the rooftop. He was about to get in the bucket at the end of a five story ladder when something went wrong and he fell to his death.

It is not clear so far if Tolley took a misstep or if  a mechanical issue with the ladder or the bucket caused the accident. The truck was kept on the street with the ladder extended for investigation purposes.

The FDNY said the fire was a minor blaze with very limited risk of injury or death and the accident was “bizarre”.

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hoverboardA 3 year old girl died from her injury after a hoverboard explosion caused a major fire in her apartment in Harrisburg, PA, last Friday night. The hoverboard battery was charging at the time of the explosion.  The girl fell from the second story of her home as she was trying to escape the blaze that was ravaging her apartment. Her two sisters suffered critical burn injuries and her dad as well as a teenage boy who was in the house at the time of the accident, were treated for smoke inhalation. Dennis Voe, a 21 year old  firefighter who was en route to the fire was struck by a car and died from his injury as well.

It is the first time that a hoverboard explosion is directly linked to a fatality. The accident prompted a federal investigation. Previously the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated multiple cases of burn injuries related to defective hoverboards. So far investigations have led to the recall of approximately half a million hoverboards with defective battery packs. At least 8 models manufactured in China with defective lithium battery packs were part of the defective models recalled. Despite the many fires and injuries caused by exploding hoverboards many families still buy them and use them.

If you or your children own one of them, you can check the list of the hoverboards recalled by CPSC. However, please remember that owning a hoverboard that is not on the list is not a guarantee that the battery may not be prone to fire hazard.  Do not charge your hoverboard at night when you sleep but during the day in a location where you can keep an eye on it and where there is an extinguisher nearby.

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the two young New Yorkers who alerted the residents about a fire in their buildingThree people died and several people were injured in NY fire accidents that erupted mostly in the North West area of the city these past few days.

Yesterday morning 3 people were injured in a fire that started in a third floor apartment of a 5-story building located on West 184th Street near Amsterdam Ave in Washington Heights. One of the victims was critically injured while the two others only suffered minor injuries. Read more in the NY Daily News.

Also yesterday in Mount Vernon, NY a mother and her child died in a fire accident. The fire broke out at the second floor of a residence located on 13th street. 11 people lived in the house. A 30 year old mother and her 17th month baby both died in the fire. Another person was injured and transported to the hospital. The causes of the fire accident are not clear yet. Read more and see pictures on PIX11 

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A one year old boy died and six people were injured including two severely in a NYC fire accident yesterday morning morning. The fire started in a three bedroom apartment located on the 13th floor of a building located on Mother Gaston Blvd in Brooklyn NYC. Seven people were living in the apartment. Firemen rescued the bay boy but he died an hour later at the hospital. two other people are still fighting for their life and 4 others were injured but expected to survive. They were all transported to a nearby hospital. Read more in Brownsville Patch

Another fire broke at a new wing of the NYU Langone Hospital in Midtown Manhattan. Nobody was injured as the building was still under construction. Black smoke and massive flames caused by tar burning erupted from the rooftop. The smoke invaded the entire Kips Bay neighborhood. Read more in the NY Daily News

Yesterday 8 people including two firefighters were injured in a fire that erupted in a Bronx two-story houses (see NY Daily News). As the weather is getting colder in the City the number of residential fires has been increasing these last days.

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Building at 720 Hunts Point2 sisters died from burns after a radiator exploded in their apartment in the Bronx, New York City. 1 year old Scylee Ambrose and 2 year old Ibanez Ambrose were sleeping in their bedroom when a radiator valve blew off. The entire room quickly filled with hot steam. The two girls were rushed to the hospital but they couldn’t be saved.

The explosion occurred wednesday afternoon in a building located at 720 Hunts Point Avenue in the Bronx. The building shelters 5 homeless  families. It is run by the Bushwick Economic Development Corp. As part of a city program called cluster-site, five families are living in this building. The rent is paid by the city until the families can find permanent housing. The cluster-site program has a bad reputation. Many of the units housing families in this program are among the worst maintained and the most poorly monitored properties among all NYC shelters. Last year a report published by the Department of Investigation found “a lot of dangerous conditions at clusters”.

The building in which the accident happened has received 60 complaints form the Department of Buildings.

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fatal NYC fire accidentOne person died and 13 others were injured in a  fire accident in New York. Around 3:30 am yesterday morning a fire broke out in a residential building located on E. 93rd Street between 1st Ave and 2nd Ave. The building was a five-story building with 10 apartments. 250 firefighters were called to the rescue to battle the 6-alarm blaze. Most residents were able to get out using the fire escape. A resident living on the third floor wasn’t able to make it and died in the blaze. 3 other residents were injured as well as 8 firefighters. An elderly resident was saved by a courageous firefighter who used a dangerous technique known as roof-rope rescue.  Jim Lee was lowered on a rope off the roof of the building to save an elderly resident who was screaming for help from his third floor window. The courageous firefighter grabbed the man from his window and pulled him down to safety before the rope burned through. Residents said fire alarms woke them up in the middle of the night. They smelled smoke and quickly realized they had to evacuate the building. The fire erupted on one of the top floors of the building. Further investigation will be necessary to determine what caused the blaze.

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NYCHA_Logo_480x480Two toddlers died in a fire last April in a Bronx apartment belonging to the New York City Housing Authority. The investigation found that the apartment was visited four hours earlier by Rene Rivera, a former NYCHA maintenance employee. When a NYCHA worker visits an apartment they have to execute several safety checks that include smoke detectors check. The employee signed on his report that the smoke detectors were working in the apartment he just visited. He later confessed to investigators that he actually never looked at them. The employee’s failure to check the smoke detectors resulted in the death of two toddlers in a fire a few hours after his visit.

In an article Today in the NY Daily News, Rivera complains that the work overload at the Butler Houses was such that he didn’t have much time for safety checks.  Rivera blames the faulty error on an understaffed crew and unrelenting pressure to keep things moving. The 27-year NYCHA veteran worker explained that he was overwhelmed by the 25 to 30 appointments he had to respond to every day.

Read more in the NY Daily News