‘I don’t know how they do it’: Firefighters rescue five residents from burning Brooklyn building

Firefighters work to put out a fire that displaced 50 Brooklyn residents Sunday morning, Sept. 24.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Firefighters rescued five civilians from a burning Brooklyn building just after midnight on Sunday.

The blaze broke out at 28 MacDonough Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant at around 12:05 a.m. on Sept. 24. Shortly after, units with Engine Company 235, Engine Company 214 and Tower Ladder 111 arrived to find heavy fire showing from a top floor apartment of the attached four-story building.

At 12:15 a.m., officials transmitted a second alarm for additional resources as the fire quickly spread to the building’s cockloft and firefighters worked to remove trapped residents. A third alarm was transmitted at 12:19 a.m. as smoke eaters kept working to tame the blaze.

Of the residents rescued, FDNY paramedics rushed three to Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital and Woodhull Hospital in serious but stable condition. 

A firefighter helps a young boy at the scene of the blaze.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“The units went right to work doing what their training allows them to do in saving lives and property,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Brian Cordasco. “I applaud them and the chiefs getting units into position quickly.”

Residents also lauded first responders’ hard work.

“The smoke was thick, we couldn’t breathe on the third floor as firefighters came to get us,” said Pam Graves. “I don’t know how they do it.”

A resident cradles her dog as firefighters work to knock down the blaze.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

More than 100 firefighters used five hose-lines to knock down the fire, which was placed under control at 2:12 a.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the FDNY’s Fire Marshals Office.

According to the Red Cross, 50 residents were displaced as a result of the blaze.

Flames could be seen from the street outside.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell