MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A Con Edison crew rushed into a smoky burning apartment building in Mount Vernon on Wednesday, rescuing two women before firefighters and police officers arrived at the scene.
Six-year Con Ed employee Richard Blanco of the overhead department in Rye – along with co-workers Joshua Kruse, Charles Nunez and Matthew Mullins – said the crew was replacing poles damaged by Hurricane Sandy on Route 22 when they heard glass shattering and smelled smoke. From their vantage point, they were able to see smoke and flames billowing from the top floor of the Spencer Avenue building.
“We ran over to the building and noticed that the fire escape was too high to reach,” he said. “I picked up Josh, who was able to reach the ladder and pull it down for us to climb.”
Nunez took control from the ground, while his three co-workers climbed the ladder, banging on windows as they got to the top. Along the way, they passed an open window with two women inside who didn’t realize the danger.
The crew helped the woman out of the window and Mullins helped them down the emergency escape. Blanco and Kruse then made their way through the apartment and into the main hallway, alerting residents that they needed to vacate the building.
No other residents were found in the building and the Con Ed crews were able to brief firefighters before they headed into the building.
“The atmosphere was smoky, and you could smell fire and feel the intense heat as we went door to door,” Blanco said. “We were just happy to be able to help these two women out to safety.”
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