A firefighter fell through a 10-foot elevator shaft during a three-alarm fire in the Bronx (NY) but continued working, reports The New York Post.
Thick smoke engulfed an abandoned warehouse on East Tremont Avenue at 12:45 a.m., making it difficult for Justin Reilly and his fellow members of Ladder 33 to fight the fire.
Reilly was in the boarded-up building when he tumbled down a freight shaft.
“There was a lot of smoke, heavy smoke, and he couldn’t see it and he fell in,” Lt. Dan DiMartino told The Post. “There was zero visibility moving along and that’s not something you would expect.”
“There was a ton of rubble at the bottom of the shaft,” DiMartino, 30, recalled. “He was able to get his bearings, and he stood up and called his own mayday.”
DiMartino and four fellow firefighters worked their way to the basement and helped hoist Reilly back to the ground floor after he’d been missing for 15 harrowing minutes..
EMTs evaluated Reilly, who insisted on returning to the fight after he was medically cleared.
“When adrenaline is flowing, guys can do a lot,” DiMartino explained. “There was still more work to be done with that fire.”
Reilly rejoined about 140 other firefighters, who spent hours trying to contain the flames.
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