Remembering FDNY Black Sunday 2005

Jan. 23, 2011

Take the time to read both NIOSH reports and remember the sacrafice…

Three veteran FDNY firefighters died in the LODD in Brooklyn, New York and the Bronx on Sunday January 23, 2005, a day that has become known as “Black Sunday” and called one of the saddest in fire department history. Two firefighters were killed and four others were badly hurt when they were forced to jump from a fourth-floor window of a burning building in the Bronx.

Later, a third firefighter died after tackling a basement blaze in Brooklyn.Lt. Curtis Meyran, 46, of Battalion 26, and Firefighter John Bellew, 37, of Ladder 27, died after battling the Bronx blaze on East 178th Street in the Morris Heights section.

Three firefighters were in critical condition at St. Barnabas, and a fourth was in serious condition at Jacobi Medical Center. Six Bronx firefighters became trapped in the building while searching for people on the fourth floor. When the fire from the third floor broke through to the fourth, they were faced with a horrifying choice. They jumped out a fourth-floor window, knowing that they would be critically injured.

Firefighters Jeffrey Cool, Joseph DiBernardo, Eugene Stolowski, and Cawley were badly hurt in the Bronx fire. They were trapped on the fourth floor and were left with the life-or-death choice of leaping 50 feet or burning up. The Brooklyn firefighter, Richard Sclafani, 37, died at a hospital after being injured at a two-alarm fire in the East New York section.

More Details at HERENIOSH Bronx Report, HERENIOSH Brooklyn Report, HERE
About the Author

Christopher J. Naum

CHRISTOPHER J. NAUM, SFPE a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a 40-year fire service veteran and a national instructor, author, lecturer and fire officer. He is an authority on building construction issues affecting the fire and emergency services and a former fire command officer, architect and fire protection engineer. Naum is a technical consultant and reviewer to the NIOSH firefighter fatality investigation and prevention program, an NFFF Firefighter Safety Advocate and formally served on the Board of Directors of the ISFSI and the IAFC Safety, Health & Survival section and faculty at the National Fire Academy. He was the 1987 ISFSI George D. Post National Fire Instructor Award recipient. Naum is the executive producer of and, sites dedicated to building construction, adaptive fire command and firefighter safety.

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