One person died and 13 people were injured in a massive apartment fire on Manhattan’s Upper East Side Thursday morning. More than 200 firefighters responded to the fire that began just before 3:30 a.m. at 324 East 93rd Street in the Yorkville neighborhood on the Upper East Side.
A man on the third floor did not survive the fast-moving fire that began on the first floor. Five civilians and eight firefighters were injured.
FDNY used a daring rope rescue to save James Duffy, 81, who was trapped on the fifth floor. Dangling near the flames in a rope harness, firefighter Jim Lee pulled Duffy through the window of his apartment and they were lowered to the street. Looking up after they touched the ground, Lee told local media that he could see the rope was on fire and flames were leaping out of the window where Duffy had been standing. Duffy is hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center burn unit where he is listed in critical but stable condition.
— NY News Now (@nynewsn) October 27, 2016
The cause of the six-alarm fire that consumed the five-story, century-old building and then spread to neighboring buildings at 326 and 322 E. 93rd St., has not yet been determined. All three buildings were evacuated. The Red Cross is assisting at least 18 displaced families.
Between 2011 and 2015, there were an average of 95,000 apartment fires each year in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). An average of 3,800 people were injured and about 400 died each year. Apartment fires are more likely to happen in the winter months and during the evening hours between 3:00 p.m. and 10 p.m.