Two Bodies Found in Rubble of East Village Building Explosion

Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
The rubble at East 7th Street and Second Avenue in the East Village
Authorities found two bodies on Sunday in the rubble of a building in the East Village, after an explosion caused by an apparent gas leak destroyed it and its neighboring buildings.

Two people were unaccounted for after the explosion: Moises Ismael Locon, 27, an employee at Sushi Park restaurant, and Nicholas Figueroa, 23, a customer who had just paid the tab, according to his bank record. One body was found twenty feet from the front door and the other body twenty feet behind it, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro told reporters Sunday.

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Faulty System and Human Error Delayed Medical Help to Kids Who Died in Queens Fire

Categories: Fire, Queens

Wikimedia Commons
On April 19, a fire broke out on Bay 30th Street in Far Rockaway, Queens. The first 911 call came in at 11:51 p.m. The first firefighters arrived at the scene five minutes later. They began hosing down the blaze and attempting to rescue the children trapped inside. Firefighters carried two small children out of the house and then searched for any paramedics on the scene, but there were none there.

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United Women Firefighters Say "Backhanded Hazing" and Unfair Testing Is Keeping Women from the FDNY

Categories: FDNY, Fire

Image via FDNY 2012 annual report.
Ten percent of the FDNY's current female firefighters.
The New York City Fire Department is once again facing scrutiny over its low, low numbers of female firefighters. Those numbers could hardly be much worse: there are about 11,000 firefighters in the FDNY today, and just 37 of them are women, less than one half of one percent. The FDNY leadership says they're doing everything they can to recruit more women. But an organization of female firefighters, along with American Civil Liberties Union, say the FDNY is still promoting unfair testing practices designed to keep women out, and that hazing and harassment of female firefighters is still common.

Brenda Berkman thinks this whole situation looks unpleasantly familiar. Berkman sued the FDNY for gender discrimination FDNY in the 1970s, leading to the department being ordered to hire women. At a hearing on Friday, December 13, she accused the FDNY of "repeating many of the same mistakes that led to its terrible record in the recruitment and hiring of women firefighters."

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For the Second Time in Four Days, Candles Spark Destructive Bronx House Fire

Categories: Fire

FDNY Engine Company 96 Facebook page
There was another apartment fire in the Bronx early Monday morning. And for the second time in four days, candles sparked it.

The tragic details of the first fire, the one in Highbridge on Friday night, were still fresh in the public's mind: Family couldn't pay the electric bill. Used candles for light. Three children died.

In Monday's Soundview blaze, the candles were in the basement and 12 people were injured, two of them critically. Con Ed told the Associated Press that the company had not shut off any power in that building.

But, as with Friday's fire, FDNY officials noted that there was no working smoke detector in the room where this one ignited.

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Jersey Shore Boardwalk Fire Was Ruled Accidental [UPDATE]

Categories: Fire, Jersey Shore

As seen on NBC New York

Update: This post has been updated throughout.

Ocean County prosecutor's office released the results of their investigation into the 10-alarm fire that burned down nearly 50 businesses on the Jersey Shore boardwalk last week. The fire was ruled accidental. One of the more shocking conclusions: Damage from Sandy indirectly caused the blaze.

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Fire Breaks Out on Elizabeth Street, Seven Injured, Six of Them Firefighters [UPDATE]

A fire broke out this morning at 83 Elizabeth Street. All the residents of the six-story Chinatown building have been evacuated.

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FDNY Rescues NYPD Rescuing Cat, Publishes Photos of the Actually Dangerous Shit They Do

Categories: Cats, Fire

We guess this is what you call bragging rights. On Monday, the fire department was called in to save an NYPD officer who got stuck in a tree while trying to rescue a cat in Queens. The firefighters laughed at the cop, and saved the cat first, but also published photos of their rescue paramedic teams training for crazy situations (i.e. not cats) on Randalls Island the same day.

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A Youth Stabbing and Deadly Fire Last Night in Bushwick

The past few weekends have been a little rough for Brooklyn residents. Last Saturday, we reported on a deadly accident that happened in Sheepshead Bay and a police officer who might have been over the legal limit to drive in Brooklyn Heights. 

This week, our attention shifts to the the neighborhood east of Williamsburg; the locale of interest for a stabbing and a fire that took the life of a young woman happened last night.

Earlier on, at around 6:30pm yesterday evening, a 15-year-old boy was chased down and stabbed in the chest by a group of teenagers that numbered 10 or more. After hopping over fences and being pummeled with glass bottles, the kid was subdued by the group at a playground. Cops found the bloody weapon soon after at the scene. 

The attack happened around Madison Street, near the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, and the intent is still unclear. But the boy was immediately taken to Kings County Hospital and remains in stable condition.

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Pressed on 9-1-1 Report, Mayor Bloomberg Says 'I Didn't Even Bother To Read It'

bloomberg qa1.JPG
Sam Levin
Mayor Bloomberg takes questions at 30 Rockefeller yesterday.
After mounting pressure, the mayor's office last week released a 133-page report on the city's emergency response protocols, which says that the 9-1-1 system struggles with inefficiencies, errors, and delays.

Questioned about the findings and recommendations of the consultant's report yesterday afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg said that the city's record of responding to emergencies is better than ever and that his administration takes the report seriously.

That doesn't, however, mean he actually read it.

Pushed on some of the specifics of the 9-1-1 report at a press conference on the set of Saturday Night Live, Bloomberg ultimately blurted out, "I didn't even bother to read it!" as his press secretary tried to move along the news conference to a different question.

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After Mounting Pressure, Mayor's Office Gives Out Hard Copies of 'Final' 9-1-1 Report

Sam Levin
Snapshot of the cover of the 133-page 9-1-1 Report, which was given out today only in hard copy form.
Today, the mayor's office gave out hard copies of the city's controversial 9-1-1 report to reporters that asked for it.

The Voice stopped by City Hall late this afternoon to grab a copy of the 133-page consultant's report that examined the city's emergency response system. It has been a topic of much debate recently, with elected officials increasingly pressuring the mayor to release the report (which the city commissioned). Bloomberg has repeatedly refused, saying he would only release it when there was a final version.

The story first blew up when the New York Post reported in the beginning of April that the mayor was apparently waging an "all-out battle" to suppress the allegedly scathing report that said the city's emergency-dispatch system has deep flaws. Since then, a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice has ordered Bloomberg to hand over the report, arguing that City Hall can't keep it from taxpayers who paid for it.

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