Footage of off duty fire fighter on the scene immediately trying to help anyone inside the building
NYDN – A good Samaritan raced up a fire escape to search for trapped victims Thursday after an explosion ripped apart an East Village building. Witnesses said the man was an off-duty firefighter who ordered everyone to stand back before he started his one-man rescue mission. “He said to me, ‘I have to get up there, I have to look for other people,’” said musician Austin Branda, 46, who rushed across the street from his Second Ave. apartment when he heard the blast. “He told me he was a firefighter, he said, ‘Get the hell out of my way,’” added Branda. The drummer had just finished aiding a panicked resident who couldn’t find her way down the fire escape. “She was trying to unhook the ladder to get it come down, and saying ‘Oh my God, Oh my God,’” he said. “I told her not to panic, we’d help her.” The firefighter was “one of the big guys yelling he would catch her,” said Branda. Peter Frank, 25, who had just finished a business meeting, saw the firefighter, presumably off-duty and wearing a white T-shirt, rapidly scale the building just as flames started to appear. “He was moving very deliberately, he went up very fast and he was looking in every window,” said Frank. “It was very methodical. I saw him kick out at least one window.” Frank said the good Samaritan got down about 30 seconds before the blaze got really big. “I don’t know if he went in through the window or came back down the fire escape,” said Frank. “It was so fast.”
Now we’re not totally out of the woods on this, because a dude who was on a date in the restaurant is still missing. His date went to Bellvue for her injuries but he’s still unaccounted for. So obviously everyone is hoping for a safe return for Nicholas Figueroa. But it is still a MIRACLE that there arent more casualties. Aside from Figueroa I believe the total was 19 people injured. 19! Injured! Look at this scene. If you told me like 50 people died I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. It was like right in the middle of the afternoon. People on the sidewalks. Cars on the streets. 4 buildings caught on fire. Not one official death reported yet. Just bananas.
I guess you can attribute that to guys like the off duty firefighter who sprung into action immediately to help people out of the building. The FDNY was on the scene in 2 minutes and 47 seconds. That sort of response is probably the difference between 4 people critically injured and 4 people dead. So as always a big thanks to NY’s Bravest and lets all hope Nick Figueroa turns up today.