FDNY: One Dead, 18 Hurt in Harlem Blaze

Feb. 23, 2024
Firefighters said they threw down ropes from the roof to grab residents while panicked victims jumped.


Kerry Burke, Thomas Tracy

New York Daily News


At least one person died when a fire that tore through a Harlem apartment building Friday trapped panicked residents on fire escapes and led one man to fall from a ledge, officials and witnesses said.

Firefighters responding to the six-story building on St. Nicholas Place near W. 149th St. about 2:15 p.m. found a raging fire  on the third floor. A man dangled from the building before he dropped to the ground below, witnesses said.

“They opened the windows and they were hanging on the ledge. One of them just fell. He fell all the way to the ground below. This is insane,” said Michelle Paradis, who lives in the building.

“There was smoke from the last apartment in the rear. It was a horrible experience. People were escaping from their apartments through all the fire escapes. It was a horrible experience,” Paradis said.

Another man escaped the flames after breaking through locked doors to a fire escape.

“I was napping and the fire alarm went off, and then two more,” said Amar Bhatia, 21.

“People in the hallway were screaming ‘Help me!’,” Bhatia said.

“I considered jumping, but thank God we got out.”

Trapped residents jumped from the building to escape the flames, witnesses said.

Firefighters went to the roof and threw down ropes to grab people from windows and fire escapes.

Besides the one reported fatality, seven people were reported injured.

This is a breaking news story. Check back later for updates.

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