A Bayside off-duty firefighter’s quick-thinking and heroic behavior saved a 15-year-old boy and his pup last week after the 26-year-old FDNY employee overheard an emergency phone call being made about a fire near the Queens gym where he works out.
Robert Moore, who works at Flushing’s Ladder 167 on Francis Lewis Boulevard, had just finished a workout at a Bayside gym on the morning of Aug. 9 and was preparing to pay for a sandwich he had ordered when a woman working at the front desk called in a fire down the street.
“I ran around the block and saw a two-story house that had fire blowing out the windows,” he said. “Somebody was yelling out that there was someone still inside.”
Moore, who lives in Bayside and has been a firefighter for two years, ran to the rear of the house and saw a 15-year-old boy with a Maltese dog in the second-floor window. The firefighter spotted a ladder that was lying on the ground in the home’s backyard and another man at the scene helped him prop it against the house. Moore then climbed the ladder to the second floor.
But the ladder fell 3 feet short of the window, so Moore used one hand to hold on to the house’s vinyl siding and used the other to reach for the window.
“He passed me the dog and I handed it down to someone else,” he said. “I thought I was going to fall.”
The teenager crawled out the window, stepping on Moore’s face, and the two descended to safe ground.
Moore, who spent two years as a paramedic for the FDNY before becoming a firefighter, grabbed a medical kit off a truck from Ladder 167 that had arrived at the scene. He treated the boy for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns before assisting EMS workers who had arrived at the scene.
The boy’s father and 17-year-old brother had made it out through the front of the house. Two firefighters received minor injuries during the blaze and were transported to area hospitals, the FDNY said.
“It was nerve-wracking and a little scary,” Moore said of the fire. “But after I got him down, it was a huge relief. I’m just glad I was able to help.”
Moore said he returned to pick up the sandwich he had ordered after leaving the scene of the blaze before heading home.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2010 Community News Group
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