BROOKLYN — A team of firefighters and paramedics who saved three children from a burning East New York apartment were praised at a special ceremony Wednesday.
First responders from Engine 225 Ladder 107 Battalion 39 and EMS stations 39 and 58 were given Borough President Eric Adams' inaugural "Brooklyn Heroes of the Month" award at Brooklyn Borough Hall after saving the lives of three brothers in East New York's Pink Houses.
"So many members of the various public safety community, and everyday citizens, do so much without any form of acknowledgment," Adams said.
"Borough Hall needs to be a place where we bring together men and women who carry out heroic acts."
The fire broke out on the fourth floor of 1308 Loring Ave. around 11:15 a.m. on July 29. Responders from the East New York firehouse who showed up to battle the blaze spotted two children through a barred window, officials said.
They cut away the bars and firefighter Frank Blackstone was able to grab the two children and pull them to safety.
Blackstone said he didn't even have time to think before reacting.
"Training kicked in," he said. "The fire department trained us all, and we did our job."
Firefighter Justin Tallett, just two months on the job, rushed upstairs and searched the apartment.
Spotting a television with cartoons playing in a bedroom, Tallett rummaged through blankets on the bed and found an unconscious 3-year-old boy who wasn't breathing, according to the FDNY.
The rookie carried the boy downstairs to safety.
"Coming fresh out of training, everything was fresh in my mind," Tallett said. "I was just lucky enough to be put in that situation."
The first two boys, aged 5 and 8, were treated on scene by EMT workers Ewelina Zielinska and Kenneth Barriteau, who then resuscitated the 3-year-old en route to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. The children were each later listed in stable condition.
The group's heroics were a fitting start to the "Heroes of the Month" honor, designed to show New Yorkers that not all news is bad news, Adams said.
"From time to time, we need to be reminded of the good news and the good people who participate in assuring there's a sense of safety in our city," Adams said.