Monday, August 8, 2011

3-alarm SoHo fire survivor shares his frightening experience via comment

Photo: Richardo Nelson
Jorge Suarez, a resident who lived on the top floor of the building the was engulfed in a 3-alarm fire last Friday, posted this comment on the Gothamist about what it was like to survive that fire and how the Red Cross was able to provide him with some comfort:
I lived there until last night (I'm the guy in the blue Barcelona shirt in picture number 8). Not a single fire alarm was working. The folks who found out first were the ones who were awake because their power went out and they investigated by checking the hallways - which turned out to be full of smoke. I was asleep on the top floor and woke up for reasons as yet unknown to me. I had the time to grab my keys, phone and wallet and went outside into the staircase, where the smoke was so thick I couldn't see my feet. I called out for help and a firefighter grabbed me and put my arm on the railing by the stairs. He told me to hang on to the railing and make my way down quickly. I'm still spitting up blood from the irritation in my throat, a result of breathing in that much smoke. The Red Cross has been very helpful - they donated me a pair of shoes and got me put up in a hotel for the next three nights. I have spent the last few hours buying clothes and necessities because according to the fire department and Red Cross, I most likely no longer have any physical possessions left to salvage in my apartment. Turns out as a fire climbs upward, when it hits the top floor it runs out of vertical room to grow and moves in all directions horizontally. Thus the sixth floor erupted into flames and those of us on the sixth have most likely lost absolutely everything. 
Source: Gothamist

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