Wesley Patterson was in the bathroom just before 11 a.m. on Sunday when his girlfriend knocked on the door. She had just looked out the window of their third-floor apartment and saw flames coming from another unit.
It took only moments for the apartment to become filled with smoke, said Mr. Patterson, who has lived in the building for 20 years.
“We were just trying to breathe,” Mr. Patterson, 28, said. He rushed with his girlfriend and her brother, who lives with the couple, to a back window.
He tried to open the window but the frame was so hot that he burned his hands. When he got the window open, he started screaming to the firefighters. The firefighters were helping a family in apartment 3M and couldn’t get to them just yet, he said.
Mr. Patterson said he had to keep opening and shutting the window to keep smoke from pouring in as he called for help.
“I was yelling, ‘Please help me! Please come get us!’” he said, adding that it was the “most critical situation I’ve ever been in my life.”
“There were a lot of thoughts just popping up in my mind,” he said. “I was thinking about my son and I was wondering if I was ever going to see him again.”
The family considered going out the front door because it was taking so long, but when they tried to open the door, the apartment flooded with even more smoke.
It was around 11:20 a.m. that Mr. Patterson said he and his family were pulled out of the window by firefighters.
“I’m glad we made it out safe, but I still can’t believe it happened,” Mr. Patterson said.
The post ‘We were just trying to breathe,’ says resident who survived fire in Bronx apartment building. appeared first on New York Times.Last Update: Sun, 09 Jan 22 16:39:11