Firefighters rescued several Pelham Parkway Houses residents from a fourth floor apartment fire at 785 Pelham Parkway North on Monday, February 15.
Peter Krische, 20, was hard at work on Wallace Avenue when he first heard screams. Krische rushed to Pelham Parkway North and was shocked to see a woman holding an infant outside a fourth floor window.
“She had the baby hanging out the window and everyone was screaming,” Krische said.“One man tried to climb up to help her, but he couldn’t reach.Then the firefighters came and used the ladder to save the baby.”
Vanessa Scott, 18, held her young cousin, Zaniyeh Hewitt, seven months, outside the window in an attempt to spare the child from flames that tore through the three-bedroom apartment.
Michel Alexander, 19, leaped from another fourth floor window and sustained serious injuries.He was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center for treatment.
“I saw the guy after he jumped sitting in the snow,” fifth floor resident Jonathan Demers, 20, said. “He was covered in blood. He looked terrible. He was completely covered in red.”
During the blaze, Demers attempted to reenter the building to check on his family and witnessed a rescue as firefighters rushed several adults and an infant down the stairs to safety.Demers described the scene as overwhelming and chaotic.
The Fire Department was alerted at 2:13 p.m. and 12 units, some 65 firefighters, were on scene to douse the conflagration.
The one-alarm fire was declared under control at 2:51 p.m.The fire has been attributed to a child who was playing with matches, a Fire Department spokesperson said.
Eight residents were injured: five children and three adults. Only Alexander suffered serious harm.All eight were taken to Jacobi.
Three firefighters sustained minor injuries and were taken to Einstein Medical Center for treatment.
Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at (718) 742-3394 or firstname.lastname@example.org