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Firefighters Pull Five From Burning Building

February 15, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two unconscious infants were revived Tuesday after firefighters pulled them from a burning building in a daring rescue, authorities said.

Firefighters rescued three other people, including one man trapped on the roof of the Brooklyn three-story building, the Fire Department said.

Three of those rescued were in critical condition Tuesday, said department spokesman John Mulligan.

An investigation determined the fire began shortly after 10:30 a.m. on the first floor, where several children in the building were playing with matches, Mulligan said.

Mulligan said the fire raced to the building’s upper floors, where Melvin Bell Sr. and three children were left unconscious by the heavy smoke.

Bell’s 20-year-old son, Melvin Jr., fled to the building’s roof where firefighters rescued him uninjured, Mulligan said.

Inside the building, the elder Bell was found unconscious along with 4- year-old Lamar Bell, 2-month-old Tawana Bell and another girl, 4-month-old Tenora Coleman, said Mulligan.

All four were brought outside, revived and hospitalized with severe smoke inhalation. Melvin Bell and Tawana were in critical but stable condition at Kings County Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Leah Johnson. Tenora Coleman was in stable condition, she said.

Lamar Bell was in critical condition at St. Mary’s Hospital before his transfer to the hyperbaric chamber on City Island, said hospital spokesman Tom Hall.

Mulligan said that five firefighters who rescued the injured residents would receive commendations for heroism.

Update hourly