A New York City apartment fire caused by a lithium-ion battery left 38 people injured, including two critically and five seriously, according to the New York Fire Department (FDNY).
The three-alarm fire broke out at around 10:25 a.m. on Saturday at the Rivercourt high-rise apartment building at 429 East 52nd street in Manhattan, which contains 249 units.
While fighting the blaze, firefighters performed a heroic rescue of a woman whose arm caught on a window guard on the 20th floor of the building.
Video footage captured firefighter, Arthur Podgorski, holding the woman while connected to a rope system to an apartment above to help lower her to the floor below, where she was pulled inside by another firefighter:
@FDNY .@FDNY #FDNY in my ENTIRE life I have never seen anything more #HEROIC than what I just witnessed from #NYC apt. Woman rescued by #NYBRAVEST #FDNY in devastating apt fire. Trying to escape smoke, she slipped, hanging 15-20 stories up. THANK U to our heroes!!!! #FDNY @FDNY pic.twitter.com/sLwqJOPGru
— Patti Ryan (@StrepGal) November 5, 2022
Four fighters were involved in the rescue of the woman.
“This is why we train, when moments like this happen there is no room for mistakes, we fall back on our training,” Podgorski said.
“The cost of failure is great both to civilians and our members, they expect us to come prepared and we came prepared, we always do,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb while speaking on the rescue. “We have a winning mindset in the FDNY, we play to win on every run, every tour, and every day.”
Firefighters were on the scene within three minutes of receiving the call, and it was under control by 11:30 a.m., according to officials. Five firefighters were noted to have been injured while battling the blaze.
The cause of the blaze was linked to a lithium-ion battery typically found in e-scooters and e-bikes. At least five bikes were recovered behind the front door of the unit where the fire started, the New York Post reported.
The unit’s occupant, who was known to repair bikes and has had complaints levied against him before, is now being investigated.
FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn said it was close to the “200th fire this year caused by lithium-ion batteries from micro-mobility devices.”
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.