Dozens injured in Staten Island fire - New York News

Dozens injured in Staten Island fire

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203-205 Chestnut St., Staten Island 203-205 Chestnut St., Staten Island
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A massive fire in the Rosebank section of State Island injured at least 34 people and destroyed three homes early Thursday morning.

Two young children were tossed out of one smoke-filled second-floor window into the arms of neighbors below. Their father was rescued by firefighters.

More than 200 firefighters responded to the five-alarm fire on Chestnut St. at about 1 a.m.

23 firefighters were among the injured. Two people suffered serious injuries. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, according to fire officials.

The flames broke out at about 1 a.m. and spread to three, 2-story townhouses. Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control at about 6 a.m.

A New York Fire Department spokesman said the flames were so heavy that firefighters were unable to say where the fire originated. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

"My life is in there," said Cindy Piscopo, who lived on the first floor of one of the four-family townhouses.

She said she was awakened by a top-floor neighbor knocking on her door and yelling at her to get out.

"I saw fire upstairs and flames shooting out of the side of the building" and an adjacent townhouse, she said. "The top floors are gone from both buildings."

The fire spread to the third building about two hours later, said Piscopo, who escaped safely with her 12-year-old daughter.

A neighbor, Anthony DiSimone, said he and his fiancee, Darleen Cerzosie, helped two young children to safety after seeing a man screaming and dangling his young son from a second-floor window thick with smoke.

"The father was stuck up there ... he couldn't do anything — black smoke was just billowing out that window," DiSimone told the Staten Island Advance. "So I went underneath — he threw him right to me and I caught his son."

The man also threw his young daughter to Cerzosie, DiSimone said. The children, believed to be 5 and 3, were treated by emergency officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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