38 people injured in fire on 20th floor of New York City apartment building

38 people injured in fire on 20th floor of New York City apartment building

in New York City.


More than three dozen people were injured after a fire caused by a lithium-ion battery broke out on the 20th floor of a New York City apartment building on Saturday morning, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.

Thirty-eight people were injured, including five members of the service, EMS Chief Joseph Pataky said during a press conference. Two people are in critical condition while five are in serious condition and the rest are minor. Pataky stated that there are likely to more injuries as more families “come up and are evaluated by EMS.”

The New York City Fire Department responded to several calls about a fire in an apartment building, located in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood, with multiple people trapped after 10 a.m. Saturday. According to Frank Leeb, Deputy Assistant Chief of the Fire Department of New York, authorities found a large fire.

Kavanaugh stated that

Fire personnel “did an extraordinary job” in rescuing many residents from the building. They used a rope to rescue two people, lowering them out of a window on the 20th floor. Leeb stated that the technique was used as a last resort.

The rope rescue was demonstrated in a stunning video that was shared on social media.

” What we saw today was our training and team work, as well as our absolute dedication,” Leeb stated. “From the units that carried the lifesaving rope up to passing it off to our highly trained EMS personnel to get the patients off the scene in a matter minutes to the local hospitals. “

Other residents of the building were not near the fire and were advised to shelter in place until firefighters could reach all apartments. The FDNY stated earlier in the day.

Dan Flynn was the chief fire marshal and stated that a lithium-ion battery used for an ebike started the fire. It was located right next to the apartment’s front door. He stated that it seemed like someone had been fixing e-bikes in the apartment.

Flynn said the city has seen nearly 200 fires this year caused by a lithium-ion battery.

” These fires are unavoidable and so intense that any combustibles around the area will catch fire. We’ve also seen secondary fires,” he stated. “This isn’t what we’ve seen in the past, where fires take a while to develop. We’re now seeing a fully developed fire when the fire engines arrive here. This is where we see a difference from what was seen in the past. “

Sophie Reardon


Sophie Reardon works as a News Editor for CBS News. Reach her at sophie.reardon@viacomcbs.com

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