FDNY Lt. Michael P. Lampasso of Ladder 124 was involved in the Feb. 28, 2011 rescue of two people at a two-story, wood frame dwelling where there were multiple people trapped.
The fire call came in at about 3 a.m., and Lampasso was on the second-due truck.
“They were reporting kids trapped on the second floor and the fire was on the first,” he said.
As he arrived on the scene, the first-due ladder crew was removing a child.
“We see the one kid come out, but knew multiple people were reported and that we had to get up there,” Lampasso said. He then made entry. There was no hose line protection in place yet, but there wasn’t time to wait, he said.
“The doorways were left open so now you have the smoke, high heat… about 15 feet in I came across a lady laying across from the kitchen, and started dragging her out,” he said.
Lampasso handed her off and went back in. “I stayed up there by myself and kept looking,” and in the back bedroom found an adult male, he said.
In the meantime crews removed another child from a front window.
Lampasso said he was once directly involved in another rescue, as a probie, but that it’s definitely a special occurrence.
“It’s just… how often are you able to make a direct impact on someone’s life?” he said.
Lampasso added, “Probably everyone says it, but it was an unbelievable team effort.” He noted that radio transcripts show it was only about two minutes between the time crew members brought down the first victim he pulled out, and were then back in place to receive the second.
“It’s very difficult physically and emotionally… they did the heavy lifting,” he said. “It was really great to be able to share that with them, and it was a great bunch of guys I was working with that day.”