A 7-year-old girl was saved by fast acting neighbors and medics in a raging fire at a Manhattan high-rise that left 21 people injured Thursday afternoon.
The blaze temporarily trapped people on the upper floors of the building on W. 59th St. near 10th Ave. and sent nine residents scrambling to the roof for safety around 5 p.m., officials said.
Flames ignited inside a third floor apartment in the 33 story, 465-unit building, which is used in part to house medical residents and doctors affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
The little girl went into cardiac arrest on the 21st floor. A group of neighbors did CPR on her until she was taken outside, where she was revived. Leonard said she is expected to recover.
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In all, the blaze injured 17 people — two critically — and four firefighters, said FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard.
One firefighter from Ladder Co. 35 suffered serious burns, and was taken to New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The flames trapped designer Brian Santoro on the 13th floor of the building as smoke filled the hallways.
“I was cooking and no fire alarms went off so I didn't notice,” he said.
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A friend of his ran into the hallway and saw the black and grey smoke. He looked out his window and saw flames roaring out of a window on the third floor.
“We were advised to stay in the apartment,” Santoro said. “Firefighters are coming through periodically to check on us. We just have some smoke inhalation. It's kind of hard to breath in the hallways, but it's been airing out.”
Though smoke filled the building, the flames didn’t spread past a single apartment on third floor, thanks to the building’s “fireproof” construction, Leonard said.
Paramedics wheeled out a man, his face black with soot but he was conscious. He was followed by three other women, also covered in soot.
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Rebeka Bernstein, 35, lives nearby and saw flames bursting out of the building's third floor windows.
"I started hearing tons of sirens and I came out and saw lots of smoke," she said. "There were flames shooting out the windows. I've lived here my whole life and never seen anything like this."
Panicked residents sent messages to the FDNY via Twitter.
"Hey, a sis of a friend is stuck in 14H with another resident on the same floor — please send help!" wrote Twitter user Michael Turkell.
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Kyla Rodgers tweeted a plea to send help to apartment 29M.
"Tell her to call 911 and report the apartment and or location and Firefighters will come to get the person if they are trapped," the FDNY replied.
A Twitter user named Shruti Kulkarni tweeted that she was trapped on the seventh floor.
“Can’t go downstairs, smoke filled halls,” she wrote. “Please pray for us.”
A former resident said the fire may have started with a candle.
Fire officials could not immediately confirm the cause.Send a Letter to the Editor