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The Port Chester Blog Of Record

The Port Chester Blog Of Record - Brain Harrod Editor / Publisher

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12/13/07 - Was 125 Poningo Up To Code? - Were all of the smoke detectors and alarms funtioning properly?


Eight hospitalized, several rescued after Christmas tree sparks Port Chester blaze


“People were yelling to get out. I ran and told my dad and we got out.”


A three-alarm fire sparked by a burning Christmas tree last night trapped several residents and sent eight people, including a baby, to hospitals, officials said.

The fire broke out shortly before 6:40 p.m. at 125 Poningo St. in Apartment A6, at the back of the four-story brick building, said Fire Chief Charles Nielson.

Village firefighters rescued residents trapped by intense smoke on the third floor.

Though the fire was quickly brought under control, eight people suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to hospitals, Nielson said. One was a firefighter, who was taken to a hospital for burns to his knees....


"I tried to get the extinguisher to try to put it out," Peterson said. "But I was so nervous I couldn't make it work."

Peterson ran out of the apartment and down the hallway to find another extinguisher.

...."I started yelling up and down the hall, 'There's a fire! ... Everyone get out!' And I was banging on doors," he said. "I was banging and screaming and I tried, I tried to get those people out....

...A man came out into the hallway. Peterson told him to call 911. The men then agreed that Peterson would alert the people on the second floor, while the other man should run up and tell those on the third floor....

....Jose Nigron, the building supervisor, said he was working just before the fire started.

"I was in the basement and I hear 'boom!'" he said.

Someone told him to call 911, which he did. He then went outisde and saw two people screaming at a third-floor window, overcome by blinding smoke that made it impossible to find the fire escape.....

....Francisco Gudino, 18, was on the third floor with his family in their apartment at the front of the building.

"I just heard screaming," he said. "People were yelling to get out. I ran and told my dad and we got out."

There wasn't too much smoke in the hallway, he said, but at least a dozen people were running through the hallway along with the Gudinos trying to get out. He said he heard that people were trapped in the back portion of the third floor and that there was smoke blocking the stairs to get out.

"I was just so worried about my family getting out," he said of his parents, younger brother and sister. "I just tried to keep track of where they were. We ran out a back stairway."....
It sounds like precious minutes were wasted.
There should have been a fire alarm pull station next to the hallway fire extinguisher.
Instead of residents telling each other to call 911. They should have used the fire alarm pull station to immediately call the Port Chester Fire Department.

No Port Chester Building Department Personnel Went To The Hospital, Because Of This Fire.
However, A Port Chester Fire Fighter Went To The Hospital With Burns To His Knees.
It Is Crazy That The Port Chester Building Department Conducts Fire Inspections In Port Chester.


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