By Kieran Crowley
The New York Post
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — A Long Island firefighter who's also one of the FDNY's Bravest smashed a window of a burning Bellmore home with his bare hands and dragged an unconscious 93-year-old woman to safety yesterday.
"I broke the window with my bare hands - not recommended,'' laughed volunteer firefighter John Curley, 43, who works full-time for the FDNY.
"The fire was in the room, on the far side, and I could see her on the floor about five feet away from the window,'' said Curley, who cut his face on the glass and burned his fingers on the hot window.
Later, at Nassau University Medical Center, Curley was introduced to the woman he saved: Evelyn Ross.
"She began to cry and she nodded,'' Curley said.
And noting that the area had been hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, he added, "I feel good. What comes out of the bad storm - when you save a life, that's great.''
Curley was driving to a local firehouse to deliver a boiler when, at 7:30 a.m., he heard the radio call of a woman trapped on the second floor of a waterfront home. He was the first on the scene.
Outside the $1 million home, soot-covered resident Richard Ross, 61, yelled that his mom was trapped in a second-floor bedroom.
They stacked a ladder on top of some file cabinets and Curley clambered up, as the flames roared around him. Inside, he lifted the victim onto a bed and then to the window.
The room erupted into flames just seconds later.
"It started shaking and I thought I was going to drop her'' onto the cement driveway, said Curley.
His son was holding the ladder and Fire Chief Daniel Holl and two cops were holding the filing cabinets.
"It was heroic - he did a great job,'' said Bellmore fire officer Stephen Marsar.
The home's electrical power had recently been restored, but there was still no heat - except for an electric space heater. Fire marshals were investigating to determine whether the heater caused the fire, police said.
Curley "was a real hero,'' said a neighbor, Richard Golden. "He did a hell of a job."
Ross was in critical condition on a respirator, with burns and smoke inhalation.
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