NYC Four-Alarm Blaze Injures Firefighters, Residents

It was a fiery déjà vu for residents of a Brooklyn building early Sunday when they were burned out of their homes for the second time in three months.

Fire officials said the four-alarm blaze — which raged for more than two hours, melting window guards and the fire escape as it roared through the unlucky Crown Heights building — broke out in the same apartment where it had started back in May.

The second-floor apartment belongs to Mordechai Gil, 83, a founder of the now-defunct Tower Air airline.

But Gil was not living in the apartment at the time because it was still undergoing renovations from the year’s earlier fire, which occurred after he left a pot on the stove too long, said his niece, Dvorah Edilman.

Yesterday, 11 residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Eleven firefighters were treated for injuries, including smoke inhalation, heat exhaustion and burns, officials said.

Residents said the 2:30 a.m. fire at 1365 Carroll St. could have been much worse.

Rochel Raskin said she fell asleep after she, her husband and their four young sons had returned from a vacation in the Catskills at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Three hours later, her hubby, Eliyahu, roused her, telling her a smoke alarm was going off downstairs. She grabbed their 7-month-old, while Eliyahu evacuated the other boys, ages 3 through 7.

The family lives on the third floor, right above Gil, and managed to get out “just in the nick of time,” Rochel said.

“As we were getting the last child out of the door, we could barely see at all,’’ she said. “The smoke was so thick in the apartment, you couldn’t see your hands in front of your face.”

She called her husband “a hero,” saying “he saved all our lives.”

Fire officials said the cause of the blaze — which climbed to the top of the four-story building before it was extinguished — was unclear.

Republished with permission of The New York Post.

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