FRESH MEADOWS — A father of six was critically injured after trying to save his children from their burning apartment early Monday morning, neighbors and fire officials said.
The heroic father, identified by relatives as Emmanuel Fuzaylov, was with his wife and six kids on the second floor of 169-03 65th Ave. in Fresh Meadows when a fire started at 1:45 a.m. Monday, according to the owner of the building and officials.
Susan Abdurakhmanov, 36, who owns the house and lives on the first floor, said she was about to go to sleep for the night when she heard screaming coming from upstairs and a fire alarm break out.
She said she raced outside and saw smoke and fire pouring out of the front of the building.
She said the woman who lives upstairs ran out as well, screaming, "Fire, fire!"
"They weren't even dressed," said Abdurakhmanov, who added that the husband, dressed just in his underpants and a shirt, tried to put the fire out himself.
"He tried to get a hose and do something, but there was too much fire," she said. He began calling to his children, who range in age from a year-and-a-half to 14 years old, she said.
"He was screaming, 'Come down, come down,'" she said.
Fuzaylov rushed back in to save the children, while the mother stayed outside, she said.
''The kids were screaming, 'Help, help,'" said neighbor Menske Demirkiran, 45. "The firefighters were breaking the windows. Then they got the kids out.''
Witnesses said the firefighters had to administer oxygen to a 3-year-old child.
Firefighters had to carry the father from the building, Abdurakhmanov said.
"He's a great dad, it didn't surprise me that he would do that," she said.
David Abdurakhmanov, 40, Susan's husband, added, "He went to save them. He was very brave."
Relatives said Fuzaylov was in critical condition Monday, as well as two of his sons, 3 and 14.
“He is unconscious,” said Abraham Fuzailov, 18, Emmanuel Fuzaylov's nephew, speaking of seeing his uncle earlier in the day at a local hospital. “The doctors said that it’s going to take months.”
Abraham Fuzailov added that the family came from Uzbekistan in 1988, and that Fuzaylov worked as a therapist in private practice, while his wife, Mariya, worked as a medical professional.
Firefighters had the blaze under control by 2:20 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.
Firefighters transported two people with serious injuries to Long Island Jewish Hospital, and two people with serious injuries to Booth Memorial Hospital.
Six people, including a firefighter, were also hospitalized with minor injuries, authorities said.
The cause of the blaze was under investigation Monday.