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Fire Union Warns of Delay in Bronx Fire that Injured Two Children

By  Amanda Mikelberg and Aidan Gardiner | July 17, 2013 7:58am | Updated on July 17, 2013 7:51pm

 Two children were hospitalized after the Parkchester fire, the FDNY said.
Five Alarm Fire Rages in Bronx
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NEW YORK CITY — Two children were hospitalized and several families displaced when a massive blaze tore through two Parkchester homes Wednesday morning, following what fire union officials described as an 8-minute delay by 911 dispatchers.

The fire erupted about 2:40 a.m. inside of 1507 Commonwealth Ave. and was elevated to the five-alarm status when the approximately 200 firefighters who responded couldn't extinguish it after three hours, fire officials said.

But the FDNY said there was no gap between when the 911 call was received and when firefighters were dispatched.

Emergency operators received a call about the fire just before 2:48 a.m., and the FDNY began to respond just before 2:49 a.m., according to the FDNY. Firefighters arrived on the scene just after 2:52 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

The two children in the Bronx fire, whose identities were not immediately released, were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where they were treated for minor smoke inhalation, a fire spokesman said.

Nine firefighters who were treated for minor injuries had been released by Wednesday evening, the spokesman said.

Members of the city's Uniformed Firefighters Association criticized 911 dispatchers Wednesday for what they said was an 8-minute delay in transmission of emergency calls from 911 to the FDNY. UFA officials released call logs Wednesday that they claimed showed 911 dispatchers got a call on the fire at 2:40 a.m. but did not notify fire units until 2:48 a.m. But FDNY officials said the 2:40 a.m. call was for an unrelated emergency, and had nothing to do with the Bronx fire.

The union accusation came a day after EMS crews took 30 minutes to respond to an City Council intern who fainted during a press conference with mayoral candidate Christine Quinn.

Fire victim Joshua Carrion, 21, said he awoke to the sound of smoke alarms.

"I opened the door and saw the entire house next door engulfed in flames," he said. "I went back inside and there was smoke and fire streaming in."

That's when Carrion sprung into action and woke up his father.

"There's a fire! There's a fire!" he shouted as rushed his family out of the the door.

Carrion and others got away safely but lost most of their valuables.

"I just have what I was wearing. We came out barefoot and somebody gave me these shoes," the older Carrion said, pointing at a pair of Crocs on his feet.

The fire began in one building before quickly spreading to another, officials said.

The American Red Cross said it would provide housing for any of the 10 adults and 15 children who were displaced by Wednesday's blaze, according to the agency's Twitter.