The second-floor bedroom was thick with smoke, and flames were licking at the doorway, when firefighter Joseph Fornicola climbed in through a window. To keep the fire out, Fornicola, 43, a lieutenant with Ladder 125 in Queens, crawled across the room and closed the door.
"The flames were blowing into the room. It was really hot. It was like a blowtorch in there," the 21-year FDNY veteran said yesterday of the three-alarm fire that gutted a two-story home in Jamaica Sunday. "I couldn't see anything. I had to feel my way through it."
While crawling to the door, Fornicola had bumped into a bed. Now, he crawled back and found two unconscious figures, Ba Seunarine, 44, and his wife, Parbattie, 42.
"The mother and father were huddled together in a comforter," he remembered. "I guess they tried to protect themselves from the fire."
With help from firefighters John Fougus and John Genna, Fornicola carried the husband and wife down a ladder that a neighbor had placed under a rear window. In the process, they also found the couple's 11-year-old son, Ravi. They carried him out, too.
Ba Seunarine, a Kennedy Airport screener, did not survive the blaze at 88-28 162nd St., but his wife and son did. They were in critical condition in the burn unit at New York Hospital yesterday. Firefighters said an overloaded electrical cord in the basement caused the blaze.
Two tenants who lived in subdivided apartments in the basement, Wlavyslaw Gnojski, 48, and Warren Rubino, 33, also perished.
A third basement tenant, Angel Marquez, 43, was in critical condition at Staten Island University Hospital.
The Seunarines' 15-year-old son, Narvin, also survived the blaze.
He was pulled to safety by Willy Fernandez, 50, a super who lives across the street. He was the man who placed the ladder against the building.
Narvin said yesterday, "My father and I went to the windowsill and thought about jumping down. He was yelling at me and my brother to jump down, but we didn't know whether to jump or not.
"I was holding my brother, and a couple of minutes later, he panicked and I couldn't find him anymore. Then my father jumped back into the room to find my mother and brother."
When Fernandez arrived, Narvin didn't want to leave.
"I wanted to save my family," he said. "I tried, but there was too much smoke and I couldn't see anything."