FDNY’s Rescue 1 firefighter rappels from roof to save burned man at fatal 6th alarm

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A number of readers have pointed out that Firefighter Jim Lee of Rescue 1 had been with DC Fire & EMS Department at Truck 6 before being hired by FDNY.


A firefighter pulled a resident to safety in a daring rescue early Thursday morning from a massive apartment building fire on the Upper East Side that left one person dead.

The six-alarm fire broke out around 3:20 a.m. Thursday at a building at 324 East 93rd Street. Flames could be seen pouring out of windows as smoke billowed into the sky.

One resident who was trapped on the fifth floor was saved by Firefighter Jim Lee using a lifesaving rope. One witness described what he saw.

“I heard a gentlemen with his head out of the window say, ‘I’m burning’ and the fireman said to wait, we’re coming to get you, and then I saw a rope go down,” the witness told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.


FDNY confirmed a man died in the fire and five civilians were hurt.

One of victims, who was saved in a daring FDNY rescue from the burning 5-story building, is in serious condition at a local hospital.

“It was gentleman partly out the window with a lot of smoking coming out of his head,” firefighter Jim Lee said in an early press conference. “Myself and two members from Ladder 13 and 43 set up the light and life-saving rope and they lowered me over. Probably one of most dangerous volutions we do and that’s why we train so much on it.”

Seven firefighters also suffered injuries, but they are considered minor.


“You couldn’t see anything over the edge, there was so much smoke and flames going out the window,” Lee later said.

“I told him to stay calm and when we got down, I said, ‘hope you enjoyed the ride.’ He sort of smiled and he was thankful,” Lee said.

The “older man” suffered serious burns and was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital – Cornell in critical condition.

“The chief told me he was in critical condition, but he was able to talk to me,” Lee said of the rescued man.

After they got to the ground, the rope broke. It had been burned through by the flames shooting out the windows.

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