18 years ago on January 23rd, 2005
The FDNY suffers "Black Sunday" when three firefighters are killed are four are injured in two separate fires
It was the deadliest day for the FDNY since the September 11th attacks. In the Bronx, at 236 East 178th Street at Grand Concourse, an early-morning three-alarm fire erupted in a building containing illegally-converted apartments. The frigid temperatures caused difficulties with frozen hydrants and firehoses. When the fire flashed through an apartment door, firefighters had no escape and jumped from the building. Firefighters Curtis Meyran and John Bellew were killed by the fall, with four others severely injured. The firefighters' deaths renewed interest in a safety device that is designed for those exact evacuation procedures but had been discontinued by the FDNY in 2000, but was still carried by one of the firefighters that survived the jump. Over the next year, the safety ropes were tested and issued to every firefighter.
Later that day, temperatures became too high as a group of firefighters were investigating a basement fire on Jerome Street in East New York, and Richard T. Sclafani was killed in the blaze.
Candles, holiday decorations, and electric heaters cause an increase in home fires during the winter, and the FDNY asks that all residents take precautions and inspect fireplaces, smoke alarms, and decorations for any potential hazards.