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New York Firefighter Injured Saving Child

Updated: 01-30-2007 09:47:10 AM

Courtesy of The Democrat & Chronicle

(January 29, 2007) - Rochester firefighters helped five people - including a baby and a man in a wheelchair - escape a smoke-filled apartment building in northeast Rochester early Sunday. It was one of two blazes that city firefighters battled within five hours.

One firefighter broke his foot while carrying a 1-year-old down the stairs of the building at 585 North St., said Deputy Chief Bill Curran.

"He tripped," said Curran, adding that the firefighter will likely be out of work for at least six weeks. "He saved the baby from getting injured, but he broke his own foot."

The fire was reported at 4:20 a.m. and was traced to a first-floor kitchen, where somebody had left cooking food unattended. The first company on the scene found one man trying to escape through a first-floor window and helped him out of the building, Curran said.

As the firefighters searched for a way into the house, they heard coughing sounds from the same apartment. Once inside, they discovered a 35-year-old man in a wheelchair who was close to the smoke pouring out of the kitchen.

Two firefighters carried him out of the building. He likely would have died from smoke inhalation if they had not found him when they did, Curran said.

Meanwhile, the firefighters also found three people - including the baby - in an upper-floor apartment where they were trapped by smoke in the hallway. The firefighters went to the apartment and stayed with the occupants until the smoke cleared and then helped them down the stairs, Curran said.

The firefighters involved in the rescues were Capt. David Kaltenbach, Lts. Michael Dobbertin and Danny Pignato and firefighters Edward Tracey, Thomas Decker and Christopher Steimer.

Citing a department policy against releasing the names of injured firefighters, Curran did not say which firefighter broke his foot.

Two of the 16 tenants were displaced by the fire, Curran said. Three were treated for smoke inhalation.

At 11:15 p.m. Saturday, an electrical fire at 921-923 Garson Ave. took about 22 minutes to bring under control, said Curran.

The fire started in the attic and spread down to the first and second floors through a utility chase, Curran said.

Two people were displaced by the fire, he said.

Courtesy The Democrat & Chronicle